James Thomas StevensJames Thomas Stevens is a member of the Akwesasne Mohawk Tribe, born in Niagara Falls, New York in 1966. James briefly attended the School of Visual Arts in New York City and Brooklyn College. He finished his undergraduate schooling at the Institute of American Indian Arts, with an AFA in Creative Writing. While attending IAIA, he was awarded the Gerald Red Elk Scholarship to attend the Naropa Institute Summer Writing Program and studied under, Anne Waldman, Allen Ginsberg, Gary Snyder, and Anselm Hollo. He also gave readings at the Santa Fe Indian Market in 1988 and 1989, and the Centre for Contemporary Arts. He was asked to give a reading at the IAIA Museum in 1995 and was awarded a Witter-Bynner Grant for a children's poetry project.
Upon graduating in 1990, James was given a full fellowship to attend the Brown University Graduate Writing Program. This was only the second time in Brown's history that they allowed an AFA directly into the MFA program. He received his MFA in May 1993.
In the fall of 1993, his first manuscript, Tokinish, was accepted for publication by First Intensity Press. The first edition sold out and it has been reprinted in its entirety in Visit Teepee Town [see below]. Tokinish was taught in curricula at Notre Dame University, University of Nagasaki, Arizona State University, and Southeastern Oklahoma State University.
A second manuscript, Notes on the Music I Never Heard, concerning the use of music as a tool in the conquest, became the book, Combing the Snakes from His Hair. It was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 1996.
James has published in many journals including, Blue Mesa Review, Mandorla, First Intensity, Tan Tien (China), The Alembic, Exit Zero, and Arts Advocate Magazine of New Mexico. His entire manuscript of Tokinish was chosen to be republished in Visit Teepee Town, from CoffeeHouse Press.
James has been an Instructor of Poetry at Brown University (1993) and has worked with the anti-drug program, Wateauonk, at the Narragansett Community House (1991). James taught at Haskell Indian Nations University from 1997-2001. Currently he teaches in the English Department at the State University of New York at Fredonia.
James was finalist for The National Poetry Series Award in 2005. He was nominated for a Before Columbus/American Book Award in 2003. In October, 2000, he was awarded a Whiting Writer's award given annually since 1985 to emerging writers of exceptional talent and promise. James has been nominated for Pushcart Prize in Poetry in 1996; he received the Kim Ann Arstark Memorial Prize in Poetry in 1993 and the City of Santa Fe Writer's Award in 1994. He received the Creative Writing Award at the Institute of American Indian Arts in 1991, and was a Witter-Bynner Foundation Poetry Grant recipient in 1993. While in college, he received the Gerald Red Elk Scholarship in 1990 and a Full Academic Scholarship at Brown University in 1991.
This is an "official" site in that this page was constructed with the assistance and active collaboration of the poet, James Thomas Stevens.
© 1998 James Thomas Stevens and Karen Strom.