James Oppenheim (1882–1932) was an American poet, novelist, and editor. A lay psychoanalyst and early follower of Carl Gustav Jung, Oppenheim was also the founder and editor of The Seven Arts, an important early 20th-century literary magazine.
Born in Minnesota, Oppenheim reared in New York City, studied at Columbia 1901–03. Oppenheim’s books of poetry were Monday Morning and Other Poems (1909,) Songs for the New Age (1914,) and The Sea (1924.) His poems contained both introspective analysis of the individual and social analysis of the times—Oppenheim’s technique showed indebtedness to Walt Whitman and the Old Testament of his own Semitic background.
The stories of Doctor Rast (1909) described Jewish immigrants and their Americanized children whom he first met as a settlement worker on New York’s Lower East Side.
Oppenheim founded The Seven Arts with Waldo Frank and Paul Rosenfeld in 1916; this magazine stimulated many young poets before it failed due to its pacifism during World War I.
Oppenheim then turned to psychoanalysis; his The Book of Self (1917) is a poetic output of this period. His collected volume, The Sea (1924,) includes The Mystic Warrior (1921,) a free-verse autobiography, Golden Bird (1923,) love lyrics, and the earlier poems, all blended by new connecting verses.