On Saturday the poet Craig Sherborne interviewed him about his poetry. The subject turned to whether James, a winner of Australian poetry's great honour, the Philip Hodgins medal, might still be considered by some as primarily an "entertainer". He agreed, before turning to the audience and saying good humouredly but incredulously: "I still haven't been invited to the Sydney Writers' Festival. Not once."
Rosemary Cameron, in her second year as the Melbourne Writers' Festival director, suggested that "sometimes, as a director, you don't invite someone because you don't expect they will be able to. No one ever sends an invite to J.K. Rowling, for example. Maybe one of us will one day, and she will come. It's the same with James. And it has to do with timing with his publishers as well. I don't think there's been a plot against him."