Contributor Spotlight: Leland James

The poems “At the Nursing Home”, “The Lament of Whitehorse Billy”, and “Dreamscape” by Leland James appeared in Issue 14 and can be found here.

We’d love to hear more about “At the Nursing Home”.

I took care of my father-in-law in the two years in which dementia set in. After this I visited him in a nursing home, one of many who suffered from severe dementia.

The key to the poem was establishing the voice and the balance between lack of cognitive function and the mind within that I imagined was still there.  

What was the most difficult part in writing this poem?

Finding the tone that was not sentimental, yet empathetic.

Recommend a book for us which was published within the last decade.

Longberry’s Leap, Little Red Tree Publishing, which has a free companion book download from the publisher on poetry craft.

If you could have a drink with any living author, who would it be? Why?

Timothy Steele, a fine poet and the best craftsman going.

What are you working on now? What’s next?

I’m working on my third children’s book in verse, and my third collection of poems. And of course the new poem that insists on being written now.

Our thanks to Leland for taking the time to answer a few questions and share his work. Read Leland’s poems “At the Nursing Home”, “The Lament of Whitehorse Billy”, and “Dreamscape” here:



Leland James is the author of four books of poetry and a book on poetry craft. He has published over 200 poems in journals and magazines worldwide including The Lyric, Form Quarterly; Rattle, The South Carolina Review; The Spoon River Poetry Review; New Millennium Writings; HQ The Haiku Quarterly, and The London Magazine. He was the winner of The UK’s Aesthetica Creative Writing Award, The Little Red Tree International Poetry Prize, and the Writer’s Forum short poem contest. He has received honors in many others competitions and was recently nominated for a Push Cart Prize. More at