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The Short Story

About April plus Madison

April Lynn James, PhD is the corporeal half of this Wonderland-inspired enterprise that is fueled, in part, by the whimsical rhymes composed and declaimed by her guardian angel,

Madison Hatta, Sonneteer.

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April Lynn James, PhD

Greetings! I’m Dr. April Lynn James, affectionately known as the PhDiva!!!


I am a classically trained soprano best known for my groundbreaking work returning operas composed by women to the world’s stages. I survived my Harvard doctoral studies—aka, “boot camp for book lovers”—by getting away from the computer and engaging in playful activities such as dance, juggling and mime, thereby healing from tendonitis, depression and stress-induced weight gain.

I have won awards from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and other foundations for my research, some of which is showcased in the 2022 PBS documentary Marian Anderson: The Whole World in Her Hands. My book, The Tenth Muse: How Maria Antonia Advanced the Pastoral Opera, will soon be available through Amazon.

During what I call “the Decade of Awfulness” following my doctoral studies, eldercare duties made worse by dysFUNctional family relationships nearly killed my sense of humor and ability to dream. The Tim Burton film, Alice in Wonderland (2010), changed that, taking me down the rabbit hole and restoring my ability to believe in the impossible. It also led to my guardian angel, Madison Hatta, Sonneteer, springing full-blown into my consciousness. I have published two books of “Madisonnets”, and now serve on the Executive Board of the Lewis Carroll Society of North America (LCSNA).

My mission is to bring joy to the world through presentations, performances, publications and courses. Contact me through LinkedIn or email me at to speak or sing for your group, organization or event, and remember to believe at least six impossible things before breakfast!

Madison Hatta, Sonneteer

I did not create Madison; Madison comes through me. Madison first appeared in my consciousness as a childhood desire for a top hat and lifelong appreciation for English literature. It was during my “opera-preneur” years that I developed a conscious awareness of angelic presences in my life, shortly before Madison’s quite vocal appearance in my inner ear during the Tim Burton Alice and beyond. Madison is the guardian angel of my sense of humor.

The "Madisonnets" began flowing through me in the summer of 2011. I (plus Madison) now have well over 200 with which to delight the ear, eye, heart, and mind.


Our Indiegogo campaign to fund the publication of Madison Hatta's Book of Unreasonable Rhymes was over 100% successful. Madison’s chapbooks, the Book of Unreasonable Rhymes (2015) and the Book of Unrelenting Rhymes (2016) are available from Philadelphia’s legendary Moonstone Press.

Listen to a sampling of Madisonnets at the April plus Madison's (A)Musings page.

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