Sutton, James H. Books

About the poet: James Sutton, a graduate of Iowa’s Writers workshop, studied poetry with John Berryman, George Starbuck and Marvin Bell. He was also a professional lobbyist. As poet, he writes sonnets on the theory that difficult form separates poets from politicians. As lobbyist, he makes political statements by not making political statements. Here, doing both, he extends the sonnet as a form and obviates gender wars by returning to high culture.

Harry's Gloom. A Comedy
1997 0-7734-2808-9
A comedy in a form the French called Vers de Société. Lawfully deranged by his dentist, Harry imagines that he's a keeper in a zoo and that his monkeys are sick. Examining their spiritual lapses and his own, he looks for, and finds, a cure for the malaise of our time. It's about everything that vexes our country, our selves and our spirit. It's meant to define this moment and our place in time. It may be the first long poem to illustrate Chaos Theory. It's non-linear and controlled by hidden attractors, and everything in it connects with everything else.

Harry's Gloomsday Dictionary. An Aliens' Guide to Decoding Words
1997 0-7734-2812-7
Comic definitions on slang, puns, half lies, litotes, hyperbole and other tropes describing and as a companion to Harry's Gloom.

Harry's Joy
2003 0-7734-3492-5
Third in a trilogy of sonnet sequences about a young man’s quest for manhood. In Harry’s Gloom, he finds purgatory when unable to create significance. In this book, he finds heaven by recognizing and memorializing moments of happiness, often tiny, until they merge.

Last Samurai an American Poem About Japanese Courage
1997 0-7734-2828-3
Winner of the 1996 Mellen Poetry Prize Epic poem in sonnet form on WWII and the destruction of Hiroshima, as seen through the eyes of a Japanese naval officer.

Prometheus
1995 0-7734-2750-3
Prometheus is a comic epic written as a sonnet sequence around a Greek myth. Like Hesiod's, the poem deals with enlightenment and the creation of the first woman, Pandora; but it uses stories from modern Greek oral tradition to report the revolutionary effects of Prometheus's gifts. The result is a commentary about progress as well as an etiological myth about the transformation of paganism into Christianity. Built on such themes as the paradox of free will and the effect of entropy on the moral order of the Universe, the poem is ironic, playful, humane and musical. The poem merges the Romantic and Classical elements of Anglo poetry, sundered since Blake and Milton.