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.

Friday, July 1, 2016

The Pope is Like a Republican Senator

I do think the Pope has taken some amazing stances and been leader for the good on a whole lot of issues. It has been a great change. On LGBT issues, his talk has been a big improvement. This week he said the church might owe an apology to LGBT folks. BUT come on--he knows how it is. 

This on-line journal is great in terms of poetry that responds to current events from a progressive political point of view. I encourage others to consider sending their poetry with that slant there. You can't do simultaneous submission but they respond very quickly since they was current response to current events. Most of my responses have been within a day to a week. The editor's writing
is worth checking out too.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

I'm back in Ogunquit and It's been a good few months on the poetry front

Along with the usual slew of rejections, I have had some acceptances in the past few months that I am excited about. 

The Twenty-Ninth Hail Mary, a villanelle, was taken by the Naugatuck River Review for publication in the early Fall.  I have had my eye on this journal for a while because its focus is narrative poetry.

Two poems were accepted by Muddy River Review.  I do well with river journals.  When a Gay Boy Dreams in 1969 and In the Name of the Mother, the Dog, and the Too Strict Nun will be published in the Fall.  In the Name of  was inspired by my mother and was the first poem I ever wrote (revised countless times over about a five year period).  It is special to this blog because the reference to "talking dogs" is from that poem.

Haibun Today asked for a revise and resubmit and I am optimistic I will have something in their next issue.  This would be my second time getting published by them and they have been fantastic about feedback and a chance for revision. My impression is that they are dedicated to teaching the art of the haibun.

Lastly, the place where I have been most frequently published, New Verse News, took my poem written in the car on the way here as I learned of the Orlando massacre. It was published earlier this week.  Please give it a read.  June 12, 2016: Who Counts.

Monday, April 11, 2016

In the Land of the Stuck

There is so much violence in the world, such a huge gap in wealth, and then there's mortality.  And yet I go on living, with most of my energy focused on the small details of my life . . .

I was honored to have New Verse News publish this poem.

In the Land of the Stuck

First Friday Poetry Reading at Feature Poet at Fire: A Special Experience for Me

This past Friday, April 1, 2016 will be a date I remember for a long while.  I had my first opportunity to read for an extended period of time.  I was so thrilled that 35 or so folks to came to listen and/or participate in the open mic prior to my reading. It was moving to see that my poetry did have an effect on folks. I am very appreciative of the people there who showed me with words and in other ways that my poetry reached them.  Wow. Noting more can be asked.

I plan to post some video clips from the reading, so stay tuned.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Friday April 1, Doors Open at 8, Open Mic at 8:30 and the Feature Poet (gulp, me) at 9PM

I am excited and a good bit nervous to be invited to be the feature poet at Fire Historical and Cultural Arts Collaborative first Friday poetry event.  This will be the first i time that I have gotten to read a chunk of my work and it is at the place, where in my older age, I have "grown up poetically".  I am so grateful.  Come if you can!

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