Kathleen Judith James a.k.a. "Strong" is a spoken word poet from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Kathleen holds an Honours B.A. and a B.Ed. from York University and a Masters degree in History from Queen's University. Her area of interest is African-Canadian History and she wrote her cognate essay on the history of spoken word poetry in Toronto.
She has performed at various events in Owen Sound, Toronto, New York, Quebec and Manitoba. She has been interviewed on, Global Television (Winnipeg), OMNI 2 (Toronto) and Cogeco 13 (Kingston). Her radio interviews include: CBC Radio One, CFRB 1010, CHRY, CUIT and CKLN. In November 2006, she appeared in Toronto's Metro Newspaper.
Some of Kathleen's work is published in Northern Terminus and T-dot Griots. She has released two chapbooks entitled My Reflections and eXposed. Her poem entitled "Restless" is featured on Toronto Poets' Love, Peace and Freedom: Increase the Peace CD. In March 2007, her work was featured in PLUMb Magazine. She is currently working on a full-length book of poetry.
Kathleen recently visited Ghana.
Five Questions with Kathleen James:
1. How long have you been writing poetry?
I have been writing for 5 years.
2. Who are your favourite poets? Which poets have most inspired and informed your work?
I do not have any favourite poets. But my work is generally informed by African drumming, Caribbean storytelling and the spoken word art form.
3. What do you hope to accomplish with your poetry?
I hope to write a poetry book within the next year or so.
4. How important is performance, and the aural elements of poetry, to your work?
There is a highly oral element to my poetry. During my shows, I use call and response techniques with my audiences.
5. What do you think can be done to promote Ghanaian literature, and African literature in general, in Canada?
I think to increase the awareness of Ghanian poetry it would be great to see more publications from Ghanian writers and/or more poetry shows.