James Ragan

Los Angeles, CA 90035-2911

Author's Bio

Author of 8 books and translated into 15 languages, he has read at the U.N, Carnegie Hall, and for 7 heads of state including Czech President Vaclav Havel, So. Korean Prime Minister Young-Hoon Kang and for Mikhail Gorbachev at Moscow's Int. Poetry Festival (with Robert Bly and Bob Dylan). Has appeared on CNN, C-SPAN, NPR, PBS and in 30 Anthologies. His poems have been described as "arresting and distinctive" (Richard Wilbur), "sparing no passion in believing they sing" (Seamus Heaney), "fine-grained and witty" (C.K. Williams), and "dominating--with insight that marks major poets" (Miroslav Holub). His plays "The Landlord" and "Commedia" have been produced in the U.S, Beijing, Moscow, Athens etc. Worked as a screenwriter at Paramount Pictures for Prod. Al Ruddy and in production on "The Border," "Dom," and Oscar winner,"The Deer Hunter." He has a Ph.D. and served for 25 yrs as Director of USC's Professional Writing Program and for 23 summers as Distinguished Professor at Charles U. in Prague. In 1996 Buzz Magazine named Ragan one of the "100 Coolest People in Los Angeles: Those Who Make a Difference." He is the subject of the 2016 Arina Films documentary on his life in the arts "Flowers and Roots, Ambassador of the Arts," the Remi Platinum Prize winner at the 49th Houston Int. Film Festival.

Publications and Prizes

In the Talking Hours
(University of Southern California Press, 2004)
, Lusions
(Grove Press, 1996)
, The Hunger Wall
(Grove Press, 1995)
, The World Shouldering I
(Salmon Publishing, 2013)
, Too Long a Solitude
(University of Oklahoma Press, 2009)
, Womb Weary
(Carol Publishing, 1990)
, Yevgeny Yevtushenko: Collected Poetry, 1952-1990 (co-editor/ trans.)
(Henry Holt, 1990)
Antioch Review, BOMB Magazine, Los Angeles Times, North American Review, Ohio Review, Poetry, Prairie Schooner, Sewanee Review, The Nation, World Literature Today, The Ontario Review
Prizes Won: 
Three Fulbright Professorships, two Honorary Doctorates, the Emerson Poetry Prize, nine Pushcart Prize nominations, PSA Gertrude Claytor Award Finalist, London's Troubadour Int. Poetry Prize Finalist, Oklahoma Book Award Finalist, Walt Whitman Book Award Finalist, a TV Telly Award, Valerie Swan Foundation Humanitarian Award, Impact DOCS Merit Prize, Phi Kappa Phi Creative Artist Award, Medal of Merit (Ohio University), Presidential Medal (St.Vincent College), USC 25th Anniversary Tribute, etc. 

More Information

Listed as: 
Gives readings: 
Travels for readings: 
Identifies as: 
Prefers to work with: 
Fluent in: 
Born in: 
Raised in: 
Pittsburgh, PA
Please note: All information in the Directory is provided by the listed writers or their representatives.
Last updated: Mar 14, 2017