“It was a glorious time.”
This is how David James described his stay in the West Clare cottage of fellow poet Thomas Lynch. His more than a month near the coastal town of Kilkee was part of a sabbatical from Oakland Community College in Michigan, where he taught writing for 20 years.
In a recent essay in the Echo, James recalled: “My wife joined a knitting group which met on Thursday evenings at the Carmody bar in Carrigaholt; she was with the ladies for five weeks while I read, wrote and drank at the back of the bar.
He added: “The images and experiences of our daily wanderings have found their way into the writing.” The second half of “Wiping Stars from Your Sleeves”, 28 of the book’s poems, was written in West Clare.
“What surprised me most was how the Irish landscape found its way into my writing,” the poet said. trip, Debra Marie.
He won a lot of praise from other writers.
Marc Sheehan, the author of ‘Vengeful Hymns’, wrote: “This new collection of poems by David James has it all, from its signature bravado absurdism to heart-on-the-sleeve love poems. The latter, especially , make this book a real success.Set in a sojourn in Ireland, James praises not only the tender time (and place), but also the years spent in what Wendell Berry has called “The Land of Marriage”. When the definitive anthology of 21st century love poems is published, I think James’ “The Long Fall”, “Blueprint” and others will be included because they are poems that shine, that cannot be erased.
“This book is a hymn to time,” said Joy Gaines-Friedler, author of “Capture Theory,” “where the poet shows us how we can” finally [rise] on two feet to demand total control. I feel like I need to take this book with me, delve into its open heart and hear its intelligent phrasing, its sweet singing.
‘Feeding Wild’ author Robert Haight commented: “Covering a range of tones from solemn to lighthearted, this collection is alive with the sense of mystery of being in the world, emphasizing that “the Holy Land was the here and now” and “like those days that wash over my grateful soul,” it leaves readers refreshed and renewed.
Date of birth: September 1, 1955
Place of birth: Detroit
Children: Collin, Nathan, Léa
Residence: Linden, Mich.
Published Works: “A Heart Out of This World”, “She Dances Like Mussolini”, “My Ripped Dance Card”, “A Gem of Truth”, “Nail Yourself into Bliss”, “Wiping Stars from Your Sleeves” and ” Alive in Your Skin While You Still Own It” (all poetry books). The latest, “Alive in Your Skin While You Still Own It”, is an eclectic collection of poems some of which date back 40 years. I’ve never been very good at organizing my poems in a thematic format; my poems spray all over the page in terms of style and content.
What is your writing routine? Are there ideal conditions?
Any quiet time I can handle becomes the perfect time to write. Often I drive my car and park somewhere to write because of three things: 1) no one knows where I am, 2) no one bothers me, and 3) I’m not home to see everyone else. things I should do!
What advice do you have for budding writers?
Be fearless when you write; try to imitate your favorite writers so you can learn from them; exposing yourself through reading to as many styles and genres as possible; Believe in yourself and don’t be afraid to fail – every mistake will eventually blossom into something that will help you.
Name three memorable books in terms of reading pleasure.
“A Prayer for Owen Meany,” John Irving; “Devil in a Blue Robe”, Walter Mosley; A New Book of Poems”, Galway Kinnell.
What book are you currently reading?
Memoirs of the Falcon by James Tate.
If you could meet one author, living or dead, who would it be?
Samuel Beckett is my dramatic hero. I would love to sit in a pub with him, drink our Guinness and our whiskey, and talk about how to create art, how to come up with original ideas, how to remain childish in the face of so much despair. I would also ask him if he knew where Godot was…
What is your favorite place in Ireland?
I really like the Loop Head area along the west coast, County Clare, but I also love Mizen Head [County Cork]. There is perhaps no other place on earth so majestic and impressive.
You are Irish if…
There’s a little green in your blood.