James Cagney is poet and the author of Black Steel Magnolias In The Hour of Chaos Theory, (Nomadic Press, 2018), winner of the PEN Oakland 2019 Josephine Miles Award. His second collection, Martian: The Saint Of Loneliness, (Nomadic Press) was awarded the 2021 James Laughlin Award. James is a Cave Canem fellow who lives in Oakland.
The poems in Black Steel Magnolias in the Hour of Chaos Theoryinterrogate identity, family, loneliness, and the expectations of masculinity. Using dreams, blues, and a chorus of voices, this collection of poems examines the complexities of intimacy for an adopted person trying to find balance between two families—one rattled by age and illness; the other, holding space for a son that doesn’t exist.