TWD Magazine 4th Collection Interview: James Croal Jackson — Poetry Contributor

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As an extension of The Black Lion Journal’s mission, The Wire’s Dream is a semi-annual magazine that values community, life perspectives, and different worldviews. Contributors were asked to complete a set of mini interview questions with the purpose of sharing with the readers and their fellow submitters a bit about who they are and about their creativity. All questions were the same for each contributor; and each answer given is unique, open, friendly, and candid.

About The Creative Process

What does creativity mean to you? And what does it mean to be creative?
Creativity has always been a huge part of my life. When I learned how to write, I made picture books and short stories. Wrote a kids’ novel in elementary school. Started composing music in high school, made films in college, and now I do all those things as my muse sees fit, in addition to poetry, which is my main output these days.

How do you make time for your creativity? Are you an early bird creative or a night owl? Or something in between?
Creativity comes first. Other obligations come second. This has caused problems in the past, but I’ve made it this far.

How much of your personal life and experiences shape who you are as a creative and as a person? Do you find that you draw much content from your experiences or have you worked to keep that separate from what you create?
Personal experiences shape everything. I’m inspired by all kinds of books, too, but reading is also shaped by personal experience.

About Creative Moments & Inspiration

What is your most memorable creative moment, if any?
I don’t know if there’s a single definitive moment, but probably my first published book, my first live performance as an electronic musician, and any time I get to present a short film I’ve shot that I’m proud of.

Do you cross genres for inspiration? Which ones?
Ex: If you're a fiction writer, do you read and practice poetry? Do you also dabble in art?

I mostly write poetry these days, but I still also write fiction, screenplays, music, and shoot films.

What/who inspires you the most?
Li Young Lee, Darren Aronofsky, Ron Rash, Mesita, Monica McClure, Kaveh Akbar, Paul Thomas Anderson, and so, so many other artists and writers.

Are there any contemporary writers/artists that you admire and think should be on everyone’s radar?
(Who do you think has been undervalued?)

I’m thinking of people I’ve published in my own poetry journal, The Mantle, whose writing blew me away– Nina Sudhakar, Bryanna Licciardi, Gray Clark, Nicholas Bon, Ace Boggess, Tallon Kennedy, Anisa Gandevivala, Kenneth Pobo, Geoff Anderson, AJ Wolff, Layne Ransom.

Tips For Others, Personal Goals

What tips would you give to those who have never published anything before?
Revise your work, and don’t be afraid to submit! Don’t take rejection personally!

What goals and/or aspirations do have for your creativity? Where would you like to see your work?
My goal has always been to become self-sustaining through art. I’ll keep working on it.


About James

James Croal Jackson is the author of The Frayed Edge of Memory (Writing Knights Press, 2017). His poetry has appeared in Hobart, FLAPPERHOUSE, Yes Poetry, and elsewhere. He edits The Mantle, a poetry journal. Find him in Columbus, Ohio or at

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