James Arthur

James Arthur
2018 Last Fellow
Baltimore, MD


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book cover image of The Suicide Son


In the video above, James Arthur reads his poem “On a Portrait Bust in Worcester, Massachusetts,” which was written while he was a Jay and Deborah Last Fellow at the American Antiquarian Society in January 2018. The poem was inspired by an anonymous marble portrait bust acquired on behalf on the Antiquarian Society in 1881. According to the Society's Proceedings, the bust was discovered in a Spanish drugstore, which had previously been used by a marble worker, and represents a lady, probably of the early part of the nineteenth century, but nothing more is known of its history. “On a Portrait Bust in Worcester, Massachusetts” appears in Arthur’s second poetry collection, The Suicide’s Son (Véhicule Press 2019).

James Arthur's poems have appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry, The New York Review of Books, and The London Review of Books. His first book, Charms Against Lightning, was published in 2012 by Copper Canyon Press. James previously received the Amy Lowell Travelling Poetry Scholarship, a Hodder Fellowship, a Stegner Fellowship, a Discovery/The Nation Prize, a Fulbright Scholarship to Northern Ireland, as well as a visiting fellowship at Exeter College, Oxford. He teaches at Johns Hopkins University.

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