Prof. James Bradley Wells Publishes Poetry Collection, Bicycle

Prof. James Bradley Wells Publishes Poetry Collection, Bicycle

December 10, 2013

James Bradley Wells, assistant professor of classical studies at DePauw University, is the author of Bicycle.  The collection of poetry has been published by Sheep Meadow Press.

"Bicycle Impressionistically renders the sonnet form -- sonnet stanzas, inset sonnets purling through longer poems -- and bends the Renaissance medical treatise Three Books on Life by Marsilio Ficino (1433-1499) through the lens of Federico Fellini's art," notes a synopsis of the book. "Verging upon alchemy and integrating astrology and the science of humors derived from ancient Greek and Roman medicine, Ficino's treatise explores the relationship between melancholic temperament and creative genius. In his debut collection of poetry, Wells recruits Ficino to chart the trajectory from a dissolution 'that thwarts the actual doing / with one's life what one ought to do' to a vital reverence for immanence, a quickened sensitivity to how 'submarine themes of earth bind the human archipelago.' "

Willis Barnstone, author of The Gnostic Bible and Stickball on 88th Street, states, "James Bradley Wells's volume of poems is a meditation through Midwestern rural settings. Guiding him is biblical and classical story ... Throughout this carefully constructed romp, on bike or not, Wells is close to the land, his deep companion. As the poet rambles through mystic vision and reveals farm and tombstone incident, there lives the cry of the skeptic philosopher poet Lucretius. An astonishing achievement."

Learn more, and order the book, at or the publisher's website.

Dr. Wells' first book, Pindar’s Verbal Art, published in 2009, is an ethnographic study of speech and performance in Pindar’s (518-438 B.C.E.) victory songs for ancient Greek athletes. He has previously taught at the University of Idaho, Grand Valley State University, and Hamilton College.