James Ragan is a Fulbright Professor whose books include In the Talking Hours, Womb-Weary, The Hunger Wall, Lusions and The World Shouldering I, and the Co-editor of Yevgeny Yevtushenko, Collected Poems, 1952-1990. His play productions include "Saints" and "Commedia" with Raymond Burr. He was involved in the Academy Award nominee, "Number One," and worked as a screenwriter on "Last Story of the Century" starring Olympia Dukakis.
In 1985 James Ragan was one of three Americans, along with Robert Bly and Bob Dylan, to be invited to perform at the First International Poetry Festival in Moscow. Later this month he will perform a reading at Carnegie Hall along with Galway Kinnell as part of the Lyric Recovery Festival. James Ragan is the director of the Graduate Professional Writing Program at the University at Southern California.
In his recent book, Lusions, James Ragan cast his eye on modern and ancient history in poems that put an original spin on the progression of the world. His are lyrical and witty poems about change and cultural evolution from an intellectual and insightful mind. Through brilliant wordplay and striking images, James Ragan invents mysterious and imaginative discourse on the point where the past and the present meet and the impact they have on a fragmented culture. Ragan studies the burdens of conscience in a morally compromised world.
"A testament to the universal brotherhood, a celebration. He is my brother." - Yevgeny Yevtushenko
"James Ragan's poetry lights the passage to the larger world of world citizenship." - William Matthews
"In present day poetry, few things are more anticipated than this book by a poet narration to the level where the poems form a permanent stream of revelations. He has insight that marks major poets." - Miroslave Holub on Lusions
James Ragan is the recipient of numerous poetry honors, including two Fulbright professorships, the Emerson Poetry Prize, two Pushcart Prize nominations, and the Poetry Society of American Gertrude Claytor Award. He has also been a finalist for the Walt Whitman Center Book Award and the PEN Center West Poetry Prize.