Thomas James (1946-74) was from Joliet, Illinois. Letters to a Stranger, which won the Theodore Roethke Prize from Poetry Northwest in 1969, was his only book of poetry.
"Letters to a Stranger is a book of dark intensities and deeply felt connections, both haunted and haunting, at once brooding, sensual and lucid . . . The voice in these poems--painfully lonely and filled with longing, estranged and religious--has stayed with me for more than twenty years. It deserves to be remembered." --Edward Hirsch, The Washington Post