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Margins, edges and coastlines abound in John McCullough’s tender, humorous explorations of contemporary life and love.
Encompassing everything from lichen to lava lamps, and from the etymology of words to Brighton’s gay scene, Spacecraft is a humane and spellbinding collection from the winner of the 2012 Polari First Book Prize.
A humane and spellbinding collection.
Eric Page, Gscene
In Spacecraft, McCullough unites form and content in a way that exhibits a versatility of tone and imaginative power to great effect … from the lyrical and the learned, to the colloquial and downright funny.
Maria Taylor, Under the Radar
Spacecraft [is] a cabinet of beautifully shaped curiosities. Combining details of quasi-scientific observation with a fabulist’s openness to the queerness of unreason, [McCullough] is somehow both shrewdly sceptical and wide-eyed with wonder at once.
Gregory Woods, The Guardian Best Books for Summer 2016
Driven by the perfect blend of curiosity and feeling, these are poems that pull off that rarest of balancing acts — with brio. John McCullough is a poet you need know. Alive to the pathos in a punctuation mark, walking through dark places with a spring in its step, Spacecraft is a marvellous book.
Out of body, in the open brackets of the air, John McCullough crafts a space unsettled and vast as any voice has dared, charged with remembering and the equally perilous task of forgetting.
A cumulative mastery of conception and phrase-building is at work – from an initial poem which subtly eroticises the exclamation mark to a spirited reanimation of the word ‘flother’.
John discusses the influence of Brighton’s pebble beaches and alternative subcultures on his poetry, and reads ‘In the Angelfish Cafe’.
Cover design by Ben Anslow
Published 1 May 2016
John McCullough is a poet you need know
John McCullough’s first collection of poems, The Frost Fairs, won the Polari First Book Prize in 2012. It was a Book of the Year for The Independent and The Poetry School, and a summer read for The Observer. He teaches creative writing at the Open University and New Writing South, and lives in Hove, East Sussex.
Author photograph by Stephen Wells