James R Kilner was born in York 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. His latest collection of poems 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 now lives in Whickham, Tyne and Wear.