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Seton Hill University WPF
Writing Popular Fiction for the masses
A friend's work, and a note from an SHU reading 
12th-Sep-2009 03:45 pm

          Some words of full disclosure: Mike James, the author of the poetry collection Nothing But Love (available from Pathwise Press, or by order from Amazon.com) is not just a colleague, but a friend and the publisher of my own chapbook.

          Despite this evidence of possible prejudice, I hope you will believe (and follow) my strong recommendation of this volume.  Mike's spare, rather koanoid style is moving, thoughtful, and capable of great depth.  His drama is found in the everyday, but  the sensibility is not commonplace.

          James's approach is almost always reflection on projection.  Wry humor occasionally makes an appearance.

          Two examples.

 

from "Appetites"

 

i like the way

you dip

over-ripe

figs

in honey

 

as if to say

too much

is never

enough

 

from "Fairy Tales, Fears and the Gymnastics of Love"

 

the dark does not scare me

and snakes have never

occupied

even one of my dreams

 

but frogs - even the tiny tree frog -

make me sweat

worse than long distance running

 

also, I don't like flight attendants

 

i am not afraid of them

but I don't like them and that

has not been said enough

in poems

 

          Reading Mike James's work (this is a poet's measure of quality) always cranks the starter on my own poetry engine, as it did again this time.  I had to stop twice on my walk home, after finishing, to jot down poems that had just come to me.

         

          On the subject of poetry, a related note.  I attended a City of Asylum poetry reading at Seton Hill U on Thursday, and one of the poems pleased me enough to send me looking for it.  The poet, from India, is Meena Kandasamy, and I can tentatively recommend her book, Touch, on the basis of the sample that I heard.  Alas, since it's published in India, I don't yet know how to buy it.  Meanwhile, though, here's a link to "Mulligatawny dreams" online.

 

CBsI(very slow)P:  student manuscripts

college textbooks (for classes I'm teaching)

Year's Best SF 11, David G. Hartwell & Kathryn Cramer, eds.

McSorley's Wonderful Saloon, Joseph Mitchell

Iron Council, China Miéville

The Defense of Jisr Al-Doreaa, Burgoyne & Marckwardt (& Swinton)

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