About Me

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Jim Croteau lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan with his partner of 31 years, Darryl, and their two Labrador retrievers. He grew up gay and Catholic and white in the southern United States in the 1960’s and 70’s and has spent his adult life in small non-coastal cities, mostly in the Midwest. He loved his mother very much. He began writing poetry in May 2012 at first to cope with life in times of aging and then, well, he sorta caught the poetry bug. He is still working as a professor in Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology at Western Michigan University.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Common Threads: My Most Exciting and Rich Performance Experience Yet

On February 4, 2016 at the Kalamazoo Institute of the Arts (KIA), I was honored to be part of poetry/music/art performance piece that was called Common Threads.

It was billed as "Poetry + music join in a call and response about art + race with creative justice arts activits Denise Miller, Dr. Michelle S. Johnson (aka dj Disobedience) Abbie Maikoski, and Jim Croteau and musicians Anne Rhode and Jonathan Boyd."
It was all put together by my poetry mentor, Denise Miller. It was a great honor to perform with her and these other great artists. The paintings from the exhibit Common Ground: African American Art at the Kalamazoo Institute of the Arts (http://www.kiarts.org/page.php?page_id=1055) that inspired the poetry or music was projected in the background. It was so well put together and so powerful.

I was trying to address White people as they approach race, racism, and art from the African American community in the four poems that I read. It was probably the best, and most exciting creative performance I have been a part of. I love poetry that addresses social change and love having my creative work be a part of efforts toward such change.

Look to the KIA website--we will be repeating the performance sometimes in the Spring or early Summer!

Redbird Chapbooks will the publishing my chapbook

In September I got the exciting news that Redbird Chapbooks will be publishing my first chapbook. Sarah Hayes, an editor from Redbird, will begin working with me on editing the poems next week (end of February 2016). I am as excited about working with an editor to improve the poems as I am about have a chapbook published. The chapbook should be out sometime this year. More on that soon.

Meantime check out Redbird.  Their chapbooks look great---consider buying one (but save some money for when mine comes out too.)

Redbird Chapbooks