James Keery was born in Coleraine, Northern Ireland in 1958 and studied English at Churchill College, University of Cambridge. He began contributing his poems to PN Review in 1984 and met Michael Schmidt after becoming a contributor. As well as writing poetry, he also became a regular reviewer for the magazine in the late 1980s and editor of Burns Singer’s poetry for Carcanet Press in the 1990s.
His own work was included in the Carcanet anthology New Poetries in 1994 and he was then asked by Michael Schmidt to submit a collection, which he did, publishing That Stranger, The Blues in 1996. In 2001, he published a volume of Burns Singer’s work: Collected Poems of Burns Singer. His latest book is due for release by Carcanet in June 2020, titled Apocalypse: An Anthology which serves as an overview of visionary-modernist British poetry of the mid-twentieth century. Keery has also contributed poetry, articles and reviews to magazines including New Welsh Review, Poetica, Rialto, and Honest Ulsterman.
As well as writing, reviewing and editing, Keery worked as English teacher and head of the English department at the Fred Longworth High School in Tyldesley. After thirty years at Fred Longworth, he now works as a supply teacher. He lives in Culcheth near Warrington with his wife Julie.