PUNK OF THE YEAR
If all my work was rejected and I never got published I would STILL WRITE.
James Lilley, 33, is a married father of three from Swansea, Wales. He works as a network engineer by day, is a retired professional boxer, and an active Bareknuckle and MMA fighter. Lilley has been writing as a hobby since he was young, recently deciding to take the hobby more seriously by beginning his degree in Creative Writing.
THIS PUNK PACKS A PUNCH
JAMES - AKA - "LIGHTS OUT" LILLEY SAT DOWN WITH C. CIMMONE
FOR THIS SPECIAL
CIMMONE: James! Congratulations on being recognized as Versification's very first PUNK OF THE YEAR! How do you feel about being a PUNK?
JAMES: Honestly I am a little overwhelmed. I feel privelged to be recognised as one of Versification’s punks. I also feel like a bad ass!
CIMMONE: You ARE a bad ass! You have been very active with Versification, specifically; what drew you and/or continues to draw you to the punks at Versification?
JAMES: Although I have written and read poetry for years I wasn’t really proactive with it on social media. So I started following some publications and found Versification. I read through some issues and fell in love with the dark, gritty and real poetry I read. It opened up a new world for me and the support from C and the team has been really amazing. I truly feel honoured to be regularly featured. Some of the poets work has really stuck with me and I keep coming back to re-read the issues.
CIMMONE: Thank you! We have really enjoyed working with you, too! I've got to ask, because you know being active in the literary world often carries a lot of rejection. How do you handle rejection with your creative work?
JAMES: I kind of take on board my experience from combat sports. I see it as a learning experience it helps me hone my skills and craft and ultimately makes my poetry better.
CIMMONE: What first inspired you to write and what keeps you motivated to be creative?
JAMES: I find it difficult to place what first made me write. I actually have a copy of the first poem I ever wrote when I was about 7 or 8. We were on a school trip and since then the feeling/need to write has stayed with me. The Summer lockdown gave me more time to take it seriously and that is when I first started submitting and actually taking time to write more than a few line.
CIMMONE: It is incredible that you just started submitting - your work is so powerful! What is your ULTIMATE GOAL with your writing now that you have moved so quickly with acceptances this year?
JAMES: I am not really the goal setting type. Again I kind of compare it to fighting I do it because I enjoy it. If I get paid or win a contest or get published then this is a bonus. If all my work was rejected and I never got published I would still write. However I have had a chapbook accepted by Close To The Bone and to have a book sitting on the shelf with my name on is a big achievement and I would like to not make this a one off. So really I do have a goal and that is to have multiple works published. Poetry, fiction etc.
CIMMONE: Is there anything you'd like to share that you'd like other to know about you?
JAMES: I have a wonderful family who support me, although I do drive them mad. Combat sports is a big part of my life so once everything gets back to normal you should see me in fight mode if you follow me on social media.
I would like to thank a few people who have helped me along the way. C and the team at Versification are one of the best bunch around. They are so supportive and the zine is bad ass. Amy-Jean Muller another poet regularly featured has been a massive help for advice and encourage, Stephen Golds and Close To The Bone and Matthew C. Smith who was the first poet I spoke to via social media and opened the door for this wonderful world.