Building a career in poetry

By day, James McInerney, from Abington in Northampton, works as a builder.

By Anna Brosnan
Sunday, 14th October 2012, 6:36 am

But flying in the face of all those old-fashioned builder stereotypes, James is also very proud of the fact that he has earned a name for himself as a poet.

James said: “When I say I’m a builder, people say ‘oh, that is weird’ but the reality is that I have to pay the bills. This is my other job.”

And it seems the hard work has paid off, as recently James has proudly published his first book, In Between the Lines, a collection of 161 poems penned over a 14-year period.

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The 35-year-old father-of-two has also helped earn tens of thousands of hits on websites, such as YouTube and Facebook, as musicians have set his poetry to music.

James has even used his Twitter address @millsmc07 to share snippets of his poems with more than 2,000 followers.

James explained that he is keen to take modern poetry to a new audience.

He said: “I didn’t even do poetry at school, but I used to really love listening to classical music and music from film scores.

“I started listening to them and writing ideas down and that is how the poems came about. That is the only way I write now.

“People think of poetry as being stuffy and boring, they think of Shakespeare, but I want to get people back into poetry. People will listen to an online song based on a poem and not realise they have been enjoying something that is poetry.

“I have noticed a big following on Twitter and Facebook for poetry.”

He continued: “Poetry isn’t just by people dressed in frilly collars and sitting in trees. Over the years I have worked with so many different people.”

Much like the classical poets, James uses emotions, such as love, to inspire his words.

Such is the popularity of his work that he has even attracted commissions from around the world.

James said: “Someone messaged me and asked for a poem she could have tattooed on her body. She asked for quite a long one and had a bit of an ordeal to have it tattooed on to her body. I have so many people asking for poetry and it does go to show that poetry is still alive out there and it has really taken off.”

Two editions of In Between the Lines are now available from Amazon. One is a signed edition, including photography, priced £30, and the other is an unsigned version without photography, priced £7.49.

For more information about James, log on to www.