Split-Level by D. R. James



D.R. James has a way of working in first person that requires the poet to put aside the diary and journaling just for now. He takes us, not to himself, but through himself into experiences that should bring out the best in us. His “I” is a place where vulnerability has a collision with whatever comes along. James is not searching for the Paradisio. He hunkers down into the well-earned safety of being right here.

–Jack Ridl, author of Practicing to Walk Like a Heron, ForeWord Reviews Gold Medal Winner for Poetry


In Split-Level, garages become temples, sons become oceans, and the poet becomes a crow navigating connection and collapse. These poems are located and lost. Caught and dislodged. Familiar and full of awe. D. R. James breathes into us an awareness of life’s strange realities with reverence, tenderness, and humor. The past and the present play across the page like the memory of a cornfield plowed under by a subdivision.

–Rob Kenagy, Best of the Net poet, 2013

Rating: ***** [5 of 5 Stars!]




by D. R. James

$14.99, paper

D. R. James is the author of the poetry collection Since Everything Is All I’ve Got (March Street 2011) and four previous poetry chapbooks, including Why War (Finishing Line 2014).  He lives in Saugatuck, Michigan, and has been teaching writing, literature, and peace-making at Hope College for thirty-one years.



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