James Croal Jackson was born in Akron, Ohio. After graduating from Baldwin Wallace University with degrees in Film Studies and Creative Writing, he moved to Los Angeles, where he worked in the film and television industry. He landed gigs with The New York Times, fashion photographer Erik Madigan Heck, The American Film Institute, and Workaholic Productions, as well as several independent film productions and hundreds of background roles for national television shows. He studied improvisational comedy at Upright Citizens Brigade and performed around the city in a troupe. Living in his car near the ocean, James rediscovered his love for poetry, and has since been published in many literary magazines including The Bitter Oleander, Rust+Moth, FLAPPERHOUSE, and Columbia College Literary Review. He is the winner of the 2016 William Redding Memorial Poetry Prize, sponsored by The Poetry Forum (Columbus). His first chapbook, ‘The Frayed Edge of Memory’, is available for purchase now through Writing Knights Press. He founded the poetry journal The Mantle in 2017.
In 2015, looking to move to a different city, he embarked on a long road trip. Thirty-seven states in, he moved to Columbus, Ohio. It felt right. That inkling is what drives him to write and create.