Photo credit Kristin Cofer

Poet, Author

James Morehead is the Poet Laureate of Dublin, California. “canvas: poems” is his debut collection, and he hosts The Viewless Wings Poetry Podcast. James’ poem “tethered” was transformed into an award-winning hand drawn animated short film, and “gallery” was set to music for baritone and piano.



canvas: poems

Photograph of paperback and hardcover editions of "canvas" by James Morehead

In his debut collection, James Morehead paints powerful images through the thoughtful selection and careful placement of words.

“James Morehead’s canvas opens itself to the poetry of everyday life, where stanzas are etched in sand, and poems end in sunset. Combining micro-narratives of Boston bullies cornering a young boy, with minute descriptions of time in quarantine, it draws us into moving tableaus of tenacious attention to what went down, what might come up, and where we might find ourselves. These are poems to be savored, re-read, kept handy for those times when only poetry will do.” W. J. T. Mitchell, Senior Editor, Critical Inquiry and Gaylord Donnelley Distinguished Service Professor, English and Art History, University of Chicago

“Beauty breathes in these debut poems: from the elegant limano to strong silences. Poet, James Morehead is a world traveler who treats readers to excursions that harken back to his alluring title poem, canvas, and other portraits. These memoir poems sing in a universal language.” – Regina Harris Baiocchi, Author of Indigo Sound, Urban Haiku, and Blues Haiku.

“James creates an enchanting melody of poetic sound for the reader page after page. He notices life’s details with a tender yet precise eye, down to the ‘streets glistening with midnight rain’ and ‘summer bursting outwards / fierce from its slumber.’ Using this keen observation, James breaks past life’s routines to uncover gems of beauty. To read canvas is to be transported to a world infused with meaning and memory.” – Morgan Liphart, author of Barefoot and Running

portraits of red and grey: memoir poems

To be published March 20, 2022

In this collection of memoir poems, James C. Morehead (Poet Laureate of Dublin, California) brings universal themes to life through journeys to the USSR and the mountains of Tuscany, the concert halls in San Francisco and a tiny town in Wyoming, the cables of Yosemite’s Half Dome and the beaches of Normandy.

“In this second collection of poems, James Morehead’s imagery is vivid, spare and elemental, and it is consistently chosen and arranged to achieve intensely poetic effects. The rhythmic control is impeccable. The centerpiece of this collection, a long series of poems that chronicle a trip through the former Soviet Union, is a fast moving, impressionistic feast of imagery. Sunglasses, denim shirts, vodka debauches, dollars, rubles, steely-eyed Russian authorities ever on the lookout for forbidden deals – all of it is transparent and engaging.” – Carmine Di Biase, Distinguished Professor of English, Emeritus, Jacksonville State University


Gaia Alari (Animator-Director) and James Morehead (Producer, Writer, Narrator) team up to bring the poem “tethered” to life with the magic of traditional animation. The poem is a selection from Morehead’s debut book “canvas”. “tethered” features 2D animation created from 750 drawings.


The Viewless Wings Poetry Podcast

Where does a poem come from? How does an image, a sound, an emotion, an experience, the spark of an idea, become a poem? The Viewless Wings Poetry Podcast explores the art of poetry, and the business of publishing, through interviews with poets and artists, and special features. Season 1 features interviews with poets including Olivia Gatwood and Regina Harris Baiocchi, artists including Kari Byron and animator-director Gaia Alari, and more. Subscribe today and join me on this journey.

Writing an ekphrastic poem including examples by James Morehead Viewless Wings Poetry Podcast


James Morehead reading “canvas” from “canvas: poems”
James Morehead reading “crush” from “canvas: poems”
James Morehead reading “ghosts of bodie, california”
World Premiere of “gallery” (poem by James Morehead, music by Deon Nielsen Price)
World Premiere of “petals in haiku” (poem by James Morehead, music by Yuko Asada)