Candice James (born 1948) is a Canadian poet who became the poet laureate of New Westminster, British Columbia in June 2010. James has long been writing poems about New Westminster. She is Founder, Director and Past President of The Royal City Literary Arts Society She is also Past President of The Federation of British Columbia Writers a full member of The League of Canadian Poets, a member of The Writers Union Of Canada, creator of the "Poetic Justice" poetry reading group, creator of Slam Central spoken word group and creator of Poetry In The Park. The Spring 1980 Literary Press Group Catalogue published by the Association of Canadian Publishers described her book A Split In The Water as "a first book by a self-taught poet characterized by brilliant imagery drawn from all facets of modern life.".
New Westminster city council appointed James to a second term as the city's Poet Laureate, a post she's held since 2010. The Poet Laureate is responsible for creating and presenting poetry and spoken word works to mark special civic events and functions. During her first term as Poet Laureate, James wrote poems for various civic events, including May Day, Remembrance Day and Canada Day celebrations. She also wrote a poem in honour of the city's granting of Freedom of the City designation to HMCS Discovery.
As New Westminster's Poet Laureate, James has also highlighted the poetic literary scene in New Westminster helping to bring local poets to the forefront through poetry readings and poetry anthologies. She gathered works from local poets and facilitated the publishing of poetry books, Royal City Poets Anthologies (2011; 2012; 2013; 2014;2015). The anthologies are available at the New Westminster Public Library and also distributed to libraries across Canada. James also features poems by various New Westminster poets in a monthly column "Poet's Corner" she ran for The Piffle Magazine for 5 years from 2010 - 2015.
James was a professional musician-singer-songwriter for many years and is also a visual artist painting predominantly in the acrylic medium. In a recent interview to Alok Mishra, she has talked about her participation in music. She also told that in the beginning, she has been writing poetry, but did not send to publishers.
James' first book of poetry, A Split in the Water, published by Fiddlehead Poetry Books in 1979 has been followed by eight more poetry collections: Inner Heart - A Journey (Silver Bow 2010); Bridges and Clouds (Silver Bow 2011); and Midnight Embers - A Book of Sonnets (Libros Libertad 2012) reviewed in the Quill & Quire Magazine (Toronto).; Shorelines - A Book of Villanelles (Silver Bow 2013); Ekphrasticism - Painted Words (Silver Bow 2013); Purple Haze (Libros Libertad 2014); A Silence of Echoes (Silver Bow 2014 )and "Merging Dimensions" (Ekstasis Editions 2015). James, a longtime New Westminster resident, is also a board advisor to The International Muse, India; Poetry Life & Times; a past director of the board for SpoCan, the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word and has been appointed an honorary professor of the International Academy of Arts, Greece. Her poetry has been translated into Arabian, Italian, and Benagali/Banla, and she was the recipient of Pandora's Collective 2015 Citizenship Award.
In 2014 James founded the annual Royal City Literary Arts Society "Fred Cogswell Award For Excellence In Poetry". Fred Cogswell was James' mentor in the early years and she says "It is my privilege to found an award for such an icon on the Canadian poetry scene. Fred Cogswell (1917-2004) is a life member of The League of Canadian Poets and an Officer of The Order of Canada.
James was reappointed as New Westminster's Poet Laureate from 2013 to 2016.
Read more:Bestowed Poet Laureate from the city of New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada in 2010.
Reappointed Poet Laureate to second term as Poet Laureate 2013-2016
Recipient of Bernie Legge Artist Cultural Award 2015
Recipient of Pandora's Collective 2015 Citizenship Award
A Split In The Water (Fiddlehead Poetry Books,University Of New Brunswick Literary Press 1979) ISBN 0-920110-59-2
Inner Heart-A Journey (Silver Bow 2010)ISBN 978-0-9868097-0-5
Bridges And Clouds "(Silver Bow 2011)ISBN 978-0-9868097-8-1
Midnight Embers - A Book of Sonnets(Libros Libertad 2012)ISBN 978-1-926763-22-4
Shorelines - A Book of Villanelles (Silver Bow 2013) ISBN 978-1-927616-01-7
Ekphrasticism - Painted Words (Silver Bow 2013) ISBN 978-1-927616-11-6
Purple Haze - (Libros Libertad 2014) ISBN 978-1-926763-31-6
A Silence Of Echoes - (Silver Bow 2014) ISBN 978-1-927616-13-0
Merging Dimensions - (Ekstasis Editions 2015) ISBN 978-1-771710-71-8
Poetry and Paintings issue 1
Poetry and Paintings issue 2
Poetry and Paintings issue 3
Poetry and Paintings issue 4