Penned in the Margins acquires fourth collection from award-winning poet John McCullough

Blog | Published on June 7, 2021

John McCullough brings his distinctive surreal humour and emotional intensity to a new collection, Panic Response, to be published spring 2022.

McCullough’s new collection follows Reckless Paper Birds (2019), which was shortlisted for the 2019 Costa Poetry Award and won the prestigious 2020 Hawthornden Prize. These poems are, the poet writes, ‘darker and more experimental’.


Director of Penned in the Margins, Tom Chivers, says: ‘I’m honoured to be publishing John’s fourth collection of poems – his third with Penned in the Margins. John’s restless energy, inventiveness, technical precision and candour are all reasons to be very excited about this new book. His poems speak sideways to the anxiety of the individual and to society at large.’


Penned in the Margins acquired worldwide rights direct from the author.

John McCullough’s first collection of poems, The Frost Fairs, won the Polari First Book Prize and was a Book of the Year for The Independent as well as a summer read in The Observer. His following collection Spacecraft (Penned in the Margins, 2016), was named one of The Guardian’s Best Books for Summer and shortlisted for the Ledbury Forte Poetry Prize. Reckless Paper Birds (2019) was shortlisted for the 2019 Costa Poetry Award and won the 2020 Hawthornden Prize. He teaches creative writing at the Open University and the University of Brighton.

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