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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

My name is Dr. April Lynn James, and I’m an award-winning soprano and author. Sharing the uplifting power of good music is my lifelong passion. I’m committed to sharing not only my God-given talents, but also the knowledge and skills I gained inside and outside of Harvard to help people lead happier and healthier lives.

I’ve been blessed to have won over $150,000 in awards from foundations including the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the Mellon Foundation, the NYC Urban Artist Initiative for my groundbreaking work on women composers. I founded The Maria Antonia Project to bring operas composed by women out of the archives and onto the world’s stages. My exhibitions for Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania received widespread acclaim, and my research is showcased in the 2022 American Masters documentary Marian Anderson: The Whole World in Her Hands, directed by Emmy- and Peabody Award-winner Rita Coburn. My forthcoming book, The Tenth Muse: How Maria Antonia Advanced the Pastoral Opera will be available through Amazon in Summer 2023.

In the Decade of Awfulness that followed my Harvard 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’ve published two chapbooks of “Madisonnets”, and also serve on the Executive Board of the Lewis Carroll Society of North America (LCSNA).

Spiritually aware from an early age—I borrowed my first astrology book from the library at age 8—I know that the Divine is always guiding us, we just have to pay attention. This knowledge combined with my enduring enthusiasm for holistic wellness got me through Harvard and the following years. I share my approach in the eBook, Finding Your Voice: 5 Keys to Unlocking Your Natural Self-Esteem.

When I’m not speaking or singing Christmas carols, you can find me walking in the park or on the beach, exploring the US, Canada and Europe or drinking tea (with or without the Hatter, the March Hare and the Dormouse).

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. I see Madison as 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 recitations of individual Madisonnets and an excerpt from our show, The Twinkle Bat Variations, at the April plus Madison's (A)Musings page.

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