What’s New

Me and my shadow: check out my flash essay on my doppelgänger at Slag Glass City:  http://www.slagglasscity.org/dispatches/all-the-citys-a-stage/regeneration/

Thanks to the editors at The UCity Review and The Threepenny Review for accepting new poems, which will publish this summer!

New work is forthcoming in Slag Glass City, Bayou, and Fourth River!

Thanks to Jeremy Schraffenberger and North American Review for these words about Rancho Nostalgia:

“James Cihlar’s deeply cinephilic Rancho Nostalgia revisits, reimagines, and refashions the characters and plots of old movies, sometimes directly, sometimes obliquely, but always strangely and aptly. The poems challenge us in the best possible writerly ways, asking that we think about the collection as a whole as cinematic experience itself: the book is even presented playfully as a movie, with Opening Credits, Overture, Feature, Finale, and Closing Credits. But the movies here aren’t just an easy shtick for Cihlar to organize his poems around, and they’re more than just indulgent fandom, too. The nostalgia he explores is more deeply metaphysical. In a particularly noir-drenched piece, ‘Murder, My Sweet,’ the poet is preoccupied with the magic of cinematic light: the villain is ‘Wearing light like gilding’; ‘Shadows swirl into a point of light / whose focus widens / into a woman’s scream’; and (miraculously) ‘One lamp lights a whole room.’ This final curiosity reminds us of the fantasy of film, the deceit behind an image, the constructedness of narrative. Elsewhere, Cihlar is more explicit: ‘the significance of an episode changes / with its placement in the story, tragic / at the end, comic at the beginning.’ Rancho Nostalgia tries—straining quite admirably and beautifully to do so—to reaffirm faith in the expressive lamp that lights not only a whole room but the whole world.” —Jeremy Schraffenberger, North American Review, Fall 2014