IMAG0832It was James’s father who fostered in him a love of poetry. James  reciprocated by writing his first poems when he was 14 to celebrate one of his father’s milestone birthdays. A short while later, James joined the literary and arts magazines at his high schools, where he began to publish his poems. As an undergraduate he published both poetry and fiction in the Stylus, the Boston College literary and arts magazine, where he was editor his junior and senior years, and he was a regular features writer and reviewer for The Heights, the Boston College weekly newspaper.  In his senior year he won the Cushing Award award for best published fiction by an undergraduate.After graduating college James began sending his poetry to small literary magazines around North America. Rewarded with immediate and initial success, he had no idea that he was about to endure a much more stereotypical flood of rejections for the next several years, but during that time he began to build his now extensive collection of poetry books. Determined to break the cycle of rejection, he spent a year in the graduate writing program for poetry at Washington University in St. Louis, where he and his fellow students stopped writing poetry almost entirely, though they became friends over many a pitcher of beer at Blueberry Hill instead.

Rather than return to Washington University to complete his Masters in Writing, James choose to pursue a PhD in English at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. While there he began to study other poets in earnest, and he resumed writing poetry and submitting poems to literary magazines with some success. He left UMass, ABD, with a Master’s degree to begin his lucrative day career as a technical writer. Eventually recruited to Silicon Valley, James continued to write poetry and sporadically submitted it for publication. After accumulating a reasonable number of acceptances, he self-published Rain Dance, a chapbook of selected poems, both published and unpublished, for his friends and family.

After that James stopped writing poetry altogether for a number of years even though he ardently devoured the poetry of others. Then, in 2012, at the encouragement of his friend Rox, he participated in his first Writer’s Digest Poem-a-Day challenge during National Poetry Month in April, and the floodgates opened. In 2014 for the first time he posted his posted his poem of the day on the Writer’s Digest PAD challenge blog where various judges awarded six of his poems top ten honors throughout the month. Encouraged by the kind words of his fellow poets on the blog, James is finally getting off his lazy butt and submitting his poetry to small magazines again, a move long, long overdue.

Besides writing poetry and working his day job as a contract technical writer, James is a photographer, occasional gardener and even more occasional woodworker. He lives in Ben Lomond, California in the beautiful Santa Cruz Mountains north of Monterey Bay with his wife, Kelly, and their two cats.