If you ask him, Jim—and his current bio—will tell you that he makes his way in the world "through some murky but evolving balance of poetry, nonfiction, pedagogy, playwriting, music and performance." He has multiple books in print, and he has received several Pushcart Prize nominations.
Currently, Jim teaches English and American Indian Studies at Iowa State University, and poetry and spoken word elsewhere. If you ever want to know about the history of spoken word and Slam poetry, he's your man: a walking, talking encyclopedia of its history.
In addition to serving as music coordinator for a church in Ames, he also performs as bassist in the Gatehouse Saints with his wife, Jen McClung, and relishes being a father. He and Jen have two sons.
When we caught up with him recently to ask about his poetry, publications and projects, he provided these generous and thoughtful responses.
You are an authority—a key historian—on Slam poetry, and served as editor for an Anthology of SlamFusion Poetry. Talk a bit about its early history.
|photo credit: Jen McClung Coppoc|