James Jay has worked as a bartender, a wildland firefighter, bookseller, surveyor, and furniture mover. He lives in Flagstaff, Arizona where he has taught poetry at the jail, the public schools, and the university.
His poems and essays have appeared in numerous journals and magazines. He received an MFA from The University of Montana and an MA in Literature from Northern Arizona University. For nine years he wrote the Bartender Wisdom bi-monthly column in FlagLive. He owns a bar, Uptown Pubhouse, with his wife, the musician Alyson Jay, and they have two sons, Wilson and Henry. They have two dogs (a boxer mix and a coyote mix from parts unknown). When not writing, working at the bar, and running with the kids and dogs, James Jay plays the ancient Irish game of hurling as a half-forward for the Flagstaff Mountain Hounds.
In 2010, he received the Arizona Daily Sun’s People’s Choice Award for best author. His latest collection of poems has been nominated for a PEN Western States Award, a Before Columbus Foundation Award, and poems from the book have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Recently, he was awarded the Copper Quill Award. His third collection of poems, Barman, will be published by Gorksy Press in May of 2019.