Wednesday, September 18, 2013

There's a Storm Coming - A Brief Introduction to James Nave'

James Nave' - photo shared with permission

A few years ago, I met with some girlfriends from my high school days for a GNO (Girls' Night Out). As we were catching up on each other's lives, I mentioned that I had been doing some writing and had been very inspired by Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way. One of my friends spoke up and said that her brother-in-law, James Nave', worked with Julia Cameron.

From that dinner conversation, I discovered that he would soon be facilitating a creativity workshop at the Asheville Word Fest just a short drive from my hometown. I couldn't wait to attend and meet him. Little did I know about the storm that was coming!

Nave' describes the creative process as "From the Imaginative Storm to the Creative Form." He explains the concept in this video from TEDxAsheville.

One thing Nave' is known for is performance poetry. He has memorized more than 500 poems and is a co-founder of Poetry Alive! a poetry-as-theater company that has performed for students around the globe. 

In 2011, after awakening from surgery for prostate cancer, Nave' began writing a poem a day for the next 100 days. These poems are published in the book Looking At Light available online from Amazon.

I return to Nave's "Imaginative Storm to Creative Form" process often in my own poetry writing adventures. I will watch a dance performance or a television show and make a list of words that come to mind as I watch. Then, following his example, I begin to read the words aloud and I always - ALWAYS - find new, unusual, and interesting combinations to push my poetry in a different direction.

Nave' is a world traveler, but can be found frequently in either Taos, New Mexico, or Asheville, North Carolina. He is a wonderful teacher/facilitator and a remarkable human being. For more information about James Nave' including information on private and group creativity coaching, please visit his website HERE.

~Amy McGrath


  1. Oh, Amy - thank you for sharing this information. I had never heard about James Nave until reading this from you! There are so many marvelous resources all around us! I love Asheville - you are lucky to live near there. I want to read his 100 poem book.

    I can't wait to watch the videos!

    1. You're welcome, Julie. Look him up on youtube and you'll find quite a few performances he's done. The method he shares in the TED talk is similar to what we did when I met him. It's a really fun way to play with words and to discover unexpected combinations.