James Ragan


Los Angeles, CA
California US

Author's Bio

Author of 9 books and translated into 15 languages, he has read for 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 Seamus Heaney, 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, Prague etc. Worked as a screenwriter at Paramount Pictures for Prod. Al Ruddy and in production on Oscar winners "The Godfather" and "The Deer Hunter" as well as "The Border," "Dom" (The House), and "The Rising." He has a Ph.D. and served for 25 yrs as Director of USC's Professional Writing Program and for 25 summers as Distinguished Professor of Poetry 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, "Flowers and Roots, Ambassador of the Arts," winner of 17 Film Festival recognitions, including the Remi Platinum Prize at the 49th Houston Int. Film Festival.

Publications & Prizes

The Chanter's Reed (Salmon Publishing, 2019)
The World Shouldering I (Salmon Publishing, 2013)
Too Long a Solitude (University of Oklahoma Press, 2009)
In the Talking Hours (University of Southern California Press, 2004)
Lusions (Grove Press, 1996)
The Hunger Wall (Grove Press, 1995)
Womb Weary (Carol Publishing, 1990)
Yevgeny Yevtushenko: Collected Poetry, 1952-1990 (co-editor/ trans.) (Henry Holt, 1990)
Journals: , ,
Los Angeles Times
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Ohio Review
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The Nation
World Literature Today
Prizes won: 

3 Fulbright Professorships, 2 Honorary Doctorates (London's Richmond U. and St. Vincent College), the Emerson Poetry Prize, 9 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,  Phi Kappa Phi Creative Artist Award, Medal of Merit (Ohio University), Presidential Medal (St.Vincent College), USC 25th Anniversary Tribute, Subject of the 2016 Arina Films Documentary "Flowers and Roots," winner of 17 International Film Festival recognitions, including the Remi Platinum Prize at the 49th Houston Int. Film Festival and the Silver Award at the International Independent Film Awards, etc. 

More Information

Gives readings: 
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Born in: 
Duquesne, PA
Raised in: 
Pittsburgh, PA
Please note: All information in the Directory is provided by the listed writers or their representatives.
Last update: Sep 14, 2019