Les James is an emerging writer and artist whose current projects include exploring blackness; the theopoetic interrelatedness of nature, human nature, and the nature of consciousness; and visual thinking through images and imagery.
Originally from the occupied lands of the Ojibwe, Odawa, and Potawatomi Nations (Chicago, Illinois), she identifies as a Black, sci-fi fantasy loving, cis-female person of the global majority; resides on the occupied lands of the Powhatan Confederacy (Richmond, Virginia, USA); and enjoys extended walks, expansive conversations, and extra spicy food.
Activities / EventsAnticipated 2021 | Poetry: "Dark natured," BLUU Meditation Manual. Skinner House Books, Boston, MA. Anticipated November 2021 | Poetry: "Why Black women write horror stories," The Future of Black: Afrofuturism, Black Comics, and Superhero Poetry. Blair Publishing, Durham, NC.
September 2021 | Poetry: "Why Black women write horror stories," Black Liberation Blueprint. Blackroots Alliance, Chicago, IL.
July - August 2021 | Photography: "On the James," Take Me Away - Summer Fun and Vacations. Art Works Gallery, Richmond, VA.
July 2021 | Auditor, Poets and Scholars Summer Writing Retreat. Institute for the Study of Global Racial Justice, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey. June - July 2021 | Storyteller, Diverse Intelligences Summer Institute. Templeton World Charity Foundation / UCLA.
June 2021 | Contributing writer, "Grief and Gifts," "Showing and Telling," "Mindfulness through Touch," "Grief through Time and Space," and "Digital Memorial," The Artist's Grief Deck. Artists’ Literacies Institute. www.griefdeck.com
June 2021 | Poetry and photography, "On truth and purity," 2020 Visions: Imagining (Post-) COVID Worlds Series. Edge Effects; Center for Culture, History, and Environment; University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madsion, WI.
June 2021 | Performing artist/poet, Just Work: A conversation on the progress we've made and what still remains to achieve Black liberation. Blackroots Alliance, Chicago, IL.
June 2021 | Emerging participant and poster presentation: "In Our Nature: A Theopoetics of Science Project," Summer Research Institute: The Mind, the Human-Earth Connection, and the Climate Crisis. Mind and Life Institute.
May 2021 | Guest contributor, We are nature - short film. Chad Hodgson and Melanie Challenger.
April 2021 | Presention / short story: "The AI Q&A: A design fiction experiment," Midwestern Conference on Literature, Language and Media. Northern Illinois University.
February - March 2021 | Photography: "Carried Away: Cedar Rapids, IA Summer 2008 1 &2," Flood Awareness Week. Art Works Gallery, Richmond, VA. Best Depiction of Theme Award.
January - February 2021 | Photography: "LA Escape." Photography Show. Art Works Gallery, Richmond, VA.
December 2020 - November 2021 | Participant, Unlock Her Potential Mentorship Program.
October 2020 | Participant, James River Writers Conference. James River Writers.
July 2020 | Guest contributor, What kindled your interest in minds? - episode. Many Minds Podcast.
June - July 2020 | Storyteller, Diverse Intelligences Summer Institute. Templeton World Charity Foundation / UCLA.
June 2020 | Emerging participant and poster presentation: "Levels of Mind as Levels of Matter," Summer Research Institute: Cultivating Prosocial Development Across the Lifespan: Context, Relationships, and Contemplative Practices. Mind and Life Institute.
June 2020 (Accepted/Postponed) | Presentation: "Reimagining the Nature of Body, Mind & Spirit," Naturalism – as Religion, within Religion, or without Religion? Institute of Religion in an Age of Science, Star Island, Gosport, NH.
June 2020 (Accepted/Postponed) | Presentation: "Flavorful Images for the Mystic Soul," Mystic Soul Conference: Savor. Mystic Soul Project, Chicago, IL.
March 2020 | Photography: "Biloxi Shrine 1 & 2," Flood Awareness Week. Art Works Gallery, Richmond, VA.
February 2020 | Poetry: "Mother Prayer," Gumbo Magazine, Issue 001: Black. Gumbo Media, Chicago, IL.
June - July 2019 | Storyteller, Diverse Intelligences Summer Institute. Templeton World Charity Foundation / UCLA, St. Andrews, Fife, Scotland.
June 2019 | Presentation: "Body, Heart, Mind & Spirit: Emergent Images for Inspirational & Intuitive Practices," Mystic Soul Conference: Radical Wholeness. Mystic Soul Project, Chicago, IL.
April 2019 | Presentation: "Embodying Race as an Emergent Concept," Embodiment and Race Conference. Department of Philosophy and Religion, Clemson University, Clemson, SC.
March 2019 | Presentation: "Emergent Levels: A Framework for Reimagining Complex & Cognitive Systems," Complexity in the Humanities and Sciences Conference. Department of Philosophy, University of Memphis, Memphis, TN.
October 2017 | Participant, Writing Spirit, Writing Faith Workshop. The Collegeville Institute, Whidbey Island, WA.
July 2016 | Participant, Beyond Walls: Spiritual Writing Program. The Kenyon Institute, Kenyon College, Gambier, OH.
2000 | Poetry: "Glory," "Reason 33," "Reconciliations," Miscellany. Mary Baldwin College, Staunton, VA.
2000 | Short Story: "The Devil's Heat," Miscellany. Mary Baldwin College, Staunton, VA.
July 1997 | Participant, Summer Writers Week: Poetry Workshop. Hurston/Wright Foundation, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA.
1997 | Poetry: "My Song," "Seasons," "In Passing," "Not Again," Miscellany. Mary Baldwin College, Staunton, VA.
1996 | Poetry: Untitled, Miscellany. Mary Baldwin College, Staunton, VA.