James Mcloughlin was born in Southport, Merseyside, in 1990, with (according to him) 'his face in a book and his mind detached.' Showing a keen interest in both reading and writing from an early age, it's perhaps no surprise that James went on to complete a degree in English & Writing at Leeds Trinity University College.
At the age of 16, James began writing lyrics for hastily thrown-together songs on his acoustic guitar. After realising he had 'all the singing talent of a haunted toad' (again, his words), James reclassified these lyrics as poems and began to write for the page in earnest. Since then, James has produced over five hundred pages of poetry in various notebooks – and finished a novel or two.
Valley Press published his first collection, Encore, in May 2011, which is notable for being the first ever unsolicted submission to be published by VP – to put it another way, he was the first author we published who we didn't already know. In 2012, James' short story 'This Hopeless War' appeared in the anthology Front Lines, alongside work from five other writers under 25.
Encore is the debut collection from young poet James Mcloughlin. Much anticipated by those already familiar with his work, this is a book heaving with fresh approaches to age-old rivalries – as the city meets nature, the self meets society, and dreams meet reality.
Switching with ease between piercing observation and boundless imagination, James writes with a clarity and wisdom beyond his years, as well as a wry, subversive sense of humour (as evidenced by the book's title). This is a unique opportunity to meet an emerging literary talent, and a striking new voice in British poetry.
"These poems seem born out of music and lyrics ... out of a desire to bring forth poetry from the everyday. ‘To make layers is to calm’ we’re told ... these poems might seem calm or direct on the surface but beneath are the layers, the tumult, the aggression, the sexuality and the ambiguity of 21st-century life."
— Andrew McMillan
"There is such a joy in language to be found in this collection; words tumble over each other to express experience and insights. James is an impressive talent to cherish, and a hope for the future."
— James Nash
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