James Croal Jackson (he/him/his) is a Filipino-American poet 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. Living in his Ford Fiesta near the ocean, James rediscovered his love for poetry, and has since been published in hundreds of literary magazines including HAD, Stirring, The Indianapolis Review, Rust+Moth, Whale Road Review, and Columbia Journal. He has released four chapbooks: A God You Believed In, forthcoming from Pinhole Poetry, 2023. Count Seeds With Me (2022) at the Ethel Zine & Micro-Press shop; Our Past Leaves (2021) at the Kelsay Books Bookstore and on Amazon; and The Frayed Edge of Memory (2017) at Writing Knights Press and Amazon. He founded the journal The Mantle Poetry in 2017.
In 2015, he embarked on a long road trip, working various food delivery jobs and online crowdsource gigs to stay afloat. Thirty-seven states in, he moved to Columbus, Ohio, where he dove headfirst into the city’s robust poetry community, winning the 2016 William Redding Memorial Poetry Prize, sponsored by The Poetry Forum, the city’s longest running poetry series. He has been nominated multiple times for both the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net.
In 2018, he moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and is once again working in the film industry as a member of IATSE Local 161.