A "Secular" Q & A

This Q & A was conducted for a scrapped FB lit page. Here is the interview, updated:

Q: Give us a feel for your new poetry chapbook Secular, Satirical & Sacred Meditations from Writing Knights?

A: Well, I'm inspired by my Swiss, French heritage and pay homage in several poems like Je Suis Charlie. We are living in an Age of Terror these days and this collection reflects this. I write about more personal topics too like disability and loss.

Q: You grew up gay and Amish, do you write about that?

A: Yes in different ways. One prose piece is in the form of a letter. Another poem Leather Daddy is gritty and edgy if I may use that adjetive. A lot of this collection is political.

Q: You have written essays and short stories. What are you currently writing?

A: I'm mulling over several projects. Maybe more fiction. Always poetry!

James Schwartz also writes for Eris Magazine and The Good Men Project. Secular, Satirical & Sacred Meditations is available on Amazon.com.

Summer of Discontent

An overheated political season, global terrorism, the Chilcot report etc. etc... this is the summer of discontent! I have after 5 years of promotional blogging purged numerous stale posts, keeping the highlights.
Blogging takes a lot of my time so after 5 years I don't need to continuously update. My readers show me their appreciation on social media, merci!

I can confirm another poetry Fourplay via Writing Knights although I do not have an official release date yet.
I will also have new work forthcoming from Eris Magazine! I'm beginning several new projects later this year so will unplug for a while as I find the Internet too distracting when I'm writing.

Schwartz History

Canadian Mennonite: Mennos March

Canadian Mennonite: Mennos March


Blog Post To My Bro

Dear brotHer,
It has been 6 years since we've spoken, your choice. Your anger is so all consuming but I let it go. I cannot force you to give me my inheritance money but I am in desperate need of the 5k you took for rent. Rent for staying at the farm after Dad died. Rent for taking care of the place. Rent for driving Dad back and forth to his numerous Dr. appointments, to the cancer center. You had to work and couldn't.
Do you love your disabled brother?
Do you love your queer brother?
Now is the time to make amends!
Everyone is talking about us. Stop doing this to me. Stop hurting me!
Where will your hate end?


Lavender Magazine: QDA Review

Lavender Magazine has published a review of QDA: a queer disability anthology  in their Pride issue, have a look!

Summer Update

Happy father's Day to all the fathers out there! Summer is here and I love summer in Michigan. I have been busy reading and writing in my free time, there are a lot of books on my must read list and never enough time but I hope to have new poetry to share with you soon. Lately, my enthusiasm has turned to fiction but poetry is my first love.

ICYMI: A Masonic Meditation via ERIS

This is a short piece highlighting "river country" Michigan history (we like tourists FYI), I scrapped a longer version but may return to it at some point. No I havent joined the masonry and yes I liked that Dan Brown book too!

To all my gay friends and community post Orlando Pulse tragedy, stay strong! ❤ You are loved!


#NationalPoetryMonth RFD Magazine

I have 2 poems Leather Daddy and Sacred Geometry (excerpt from Secular, Satirical & Sacred Meditations) in the queer comics themed Spring 2016 issue of RFD Magazine!


Flint Water Drive

I spent my birthday with friends joining me on a Flint water drive, nice to see so many people stepping up and helping Flint out! Also big thanks to @ArtVan!
MLive: Flint Water Crisis... 


Eris: "Secular, Satirical & Sacred Meditations" Excerpt

Say hello to the newest writer at Eris Magazine! Read a book excerpt from Secular, Satirical & Sacred Meditations here and more of my work in the future!


FLAME GLBTQ Arts & Literary Project: #theseahorsemovie

Posted by FLAME GLBTQ Arts & Literary Project on Thursday, January 21, 2016


Flint: A Brief Meditation

Some years ago I visit Flint, Michigan with a friend. I am struck by all the boarded up houses, churches and Coney Island stands that line the streets. Prostitutes are everywhere, bumming cigarettes. I walk to the gay bar and spend the evening -- don't bring up unions the bartender warns.
He drives us around the next morning, showing off the city sights including the Flint river. I remark the drinking water tastes terrible.



Ironically, as I've been promoting my new poetry collection Secular, Satirical & Sacred Meditations (Writing Knights Press) featuring A Drop of Water, my response to the Detroit water shortage, the #FlintWaterCrisis begins. If you are interested in helping the citizens of Flint, please visit Hope4Flint.

A Drop of Water

Land of lapping lakes,

Alexis de Tocqueville,

Detroit flood,
Detroit debt,
Our kingdom for a drop of water.

Washington Post: In Flint...
Michigan Radio: Not Safe to Drink


2 "Rainbow Gazzette" Poems

Early (queer) poetry via Michiana's Rainbow Gazzette (2008). ‪#‎theseahorsemovie


QDA Excerpt: "Fellowship" by James Schwartz

by James Schwartz

Before every other Sunday service,
The Amish men shake my hand.

I offer them my left limply,
One nice fellow always smiles.

Reaching for, engulfing my right,
His hand and smile warm.

Sometimes he slips me chewing gum,
Or pieces of hard candy.

I offer my left hand,
To the next in line.

We stand around by the barn,
Until it is time to go inside.

via QDA: A Queer Disability Anthology  (Squares & Rebels, 2015)  

The Struggle of Being Gay in Albania

Wordgathering Book Review

Wordgathering reviews QDA: A Queer Disability Anthology (now available via Amazon in paperback and eBook). 



QDA: A Queer Disability Anthology is now available from Squares and Rebels Press and on Amazon in paperback and eBook formats!

ICYMI: Huff Post: Disability and LGBTQ Intersectionality 

Washington Blade Review

Windy City Review  

The Bay Area Reporter Review 

Omnibus Journal Review by Walter Beck 



#theseahorsemovie selfie

filming on set of The Seahorse documentary 10/25 (discussing LGBT Amish, "rumspringa" at The Seahorse and read a poem). Selfie via @katiemadonnalee w/ Daddy Kash.


QDA: A Review

Happy Labor Day from a working poet. I will be blogging forthcoming book reviews and news about my next poetry collection when I can. Next year my readers may be in for a few surprises!

Take a break and check out a new QDA book review!


Amish Longreads

A few recent Amish / LGBT Amish longreads:

The Atlantic: Schisms...

Al Jazeera: Increasing Tensions...

Mennonites Struggle...

WYSO: Ohio's Amish Country...

LGBT Amish: Our Stories

Je Suis Charlie & QDA

My next poetry chapbook Je Suis Charlie: queer ex-amish prose & meditations is forthcoming from Writing Knights Press (details TBA - possibly in 2016) collecting new and recent poetry and prose.

"Je Suis Charlie mixes political and personal meditations, from secular to satirical to sacred."
To obtain an advance copy for review / media queries please e-mail.

ICYMI: I have 4 poems included in QDA: A Queer Disability Anthology (Squares and Rebels Press) edited by Raymond Luczak. Raymond also edited Among the Leaves and Jonathan.

Featuring fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and comics by 48 writers from around the world, QDA: A Queer Disability Anthology proves that intersectionality isn’t just a buzzword.

It’s a penetrating and unforgettable look into the hearts and souls of those defiant enough to explore their own vulnerabilities and demonstrate their own strengths.




A good feeling knowing that my name was among those Avaaz carried in the Paris Unity Rally Sunday. Proud of my French heritage! Vive la France!


Jonathan 07: "Amish Road Trip"

My new short story Amish Road Trip will be published December 18th in JONATHAN: A Journal of Queer Male Fiction Issue 07 now available for pre-order via SIBLING RIVALRY PRESS!

Features stories by  Mitch Kellaway, Wayne Courtois-Seligman, Jorge Cino, Robert Siek, James Schwartz, Tom Hardin, Jae Christopher, Wes Funk, Reginald T. Jackson, Jerry L. Wheeler, Patrick Pink, and Gregory Gerard. Edited by Raymond Luczak.


Harold Bloom

I love reading Harold Bloom, I learn so much from him. Having recently delved into Genius again rekindled my enthusiasm for literature.

Open Culture: Harold Bloom