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2004 Writers' Forum
James Reed

James Reed is a poet living in Seattle with a long standing involvement in the arts beginning as a teacher and performer on classic guitar. For the last many years he has worked in the design field doing residential architecture and designing and fabricating contemporary furniture emphasizing the use of mixed materials. In addition to writing poetry, he is currently building a house for himself, his mate and their two cats. His recent work has appeared in BirdDog and Organization and Environment.
photo credit:
dean wong
Conversation with Curator Belle Randall
In this interview, recorded March 1, 2004, James and Belle discuss composition, art (film, visual & photography), geography and place, and more.
Listen to an excerpt of James's reading (MP3)
2:07 / 1.3 MB
Island of Jaina

The terra cotta figure stands twelve inches tall with his mouth parted as if about to speak, tilting slightly forward, perhaps with anticipation, hands softly curved near his incised apron as if his hands could give shape to words that would speak of his maker dreaming his past, how we know these gestures as eminently human, even in a dream that happens out of order and someplace else and in another time and through these gestures see in his vision a vision of our own, a fond expectation, as if his figurine represents a longing for a way of completion, reaching back in time to some distant memory as his distant memory of the Island of Jaina where the ancient Maya buried their past, where each of the dead carried with them in death their own figurine of themselves when alive, the way we look in a mirror to remind us who we are then remember who we were and bear a witness to each subtle gesture, touching our face as if our hands were wings of an angel that would carry us through to a place we are missing, and were we the artist we could capture each gesture as a way of completion, the way a thousand years after the Maya of Jaina, an artist's hands remember who he is by sculpting a figure, a terra cotta likeness, as if his hands are wings of an angel that will carry him past longing to the place he is missing.

To read more work from the 2004 Jack Straw Writers Program, contact Jack Straw Productions to purchase a copy of Volume 8 of The Jack Straw Writers Anthology.

Jump to James Reed's Interview with 2004 Curator Belle Randall.
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