James R Kilner was born in York in 1976 to parents who were originally from the Holme Valley in West Yorkshire. As a child, he lived in Scotland and then Staffordshire before the family returned to Yorkshire.
He began his career in the newspaper industry, working at York & County Press, as a reporter initially and later as a feature writer, sub-editor and Deputy Editor.
He was awarded a PhD by the University of Leeds for his research on Ted Hughes’s poetry, which he completed under the supervision of the poet and Royal Literary Fellow Paul Mills. Paul became a good friend and an important influence in the development of James’s own poems.
James’s latest collection of poetry is Persephone, the follow-up to his first book, Frequencies of Light, which was published in 2015 to critical acclaim. He moved to Tyneside in 2006 and lives in Whickham.