© Rohan DeCosta

James Cagney

Oakland native James Cagney is a poet and Cave Canem Fellow. He has appeared as a featured artist at Museum of The African Diaspora (MOAD SF), The DeYoung Museum and the Oakland Museum, as well as the Winter Warmer Poetry Festival in Cork, Ireland,  Miko Kuro’s Midnight Tea: Midnight In Mumbai (2012), Celebration of the Word with Maya Angelou (2001), Four Brothers Featuring Will Power, and Ritual Theater 2000. He read for established series Moondrop Productions, Lyrics and Dirges, and in Sacramento, Ca, the Mahogany Urban Poetry Series and for both Litquake and Beast-Crawl.

His work has been published in Alta Magazine, Poetry Daily, Tandem, Eleven Eleven, The Maynard, Civil Liberties United, Anvil Tongue Books, The Racket Journal, As Of Late IV, anthologies Best American Poetry 2022, Lines OnLine Collection 2022, Black Powerful (edited by Natasha Marin), Colossus: Home, All The King’s Horses, Silver Pinion, Caduceus, Barbershop Chronicles, Beat Not Beat (edited by Kim Shuck), Susurrus, Peregrine Journal, The Scribbler, InterlitQ Magazine, Ambush Review, Sparring With The Beatnik Ghosts, and on-line at Lime Hawk, Print Oriented Bastards, Typehouse Magazine, Fresh Hot Bread, mediacakemagazine.com and oaklandlocal.com.

James has facilitated poetry workshops at the San Francisco Public Library, Taking Notes series for SFJazz.org and Alameda Island Poets. He has appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle,  and on KALW.org and KXSF.FM.

He wrote and performed an original monologue, The Two Chairs as part of the Afro-Solo Arts Festival, and unrehearsed stories for The Shout Storytelling Series.

As a poet, he has performed at countless venues including Cal State Hayward, Barry University in Miami, Reader’s Bookstore at Fort Mason Center and Art House in Berkeley, The Starry Plough, La Pena Cultural Center, Above Paradise Lounge, The Stork Club, Spasso’s Cafe, The Jahva House, Florey’s Books in Pacifica, Department of Make Believe, Grace Cathedral and the OK Hotel.

His first book, Black Steel Magnolias In The Hour Of Chaos Theory, won the PEN Oakland 2019 Josephine Miles award. His second book, Martian: The Saint of Loneliness, (Nomadic Press) won the winner of the 2021 James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets and was nominated for the 43rd Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Visit JamesCagneyPoet.com

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