Chris McCully

About Chris

Image of Chris McCully 2019 Chris McCully was born in Bradford, Yorkshire in 1958. Educated at Malsis and Bootham, he took a first-class degree in English Language (Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 198­2) and completed a doctorate at the University of Manchester (1988), where he worked until 2003 on aspects of English language history, poetic form and English phonology. Chris now works at the University of Essex, where he teaches and publishes across a range of genres.

Chris's recent books span the range of his preoccupations: poetry, metrics and translation; the history and structure of the English language; angling and its lexicon. In 2018 a new translation of Beowulf appeared from Carcanet and Four Places (a collection of travel essays) was published by Muscaliet; 2019 saw the publication of Stour Diaries (Medlar - on the angling, culture and history of the Stour valley); 2021 saw the publication of a collection of prose-poems, The English Funerals (Muscaliet). Chris has also completed a dictionary of the names of freshwater fish (to appear from Medlar in 2022), has almost finalised the typescript of his Collected Poems (to appear from Carcanet in 2023 - this will include a new collection of poems, working title A Few Late Wasps) and has also, barring revisions, completed the draft typescript of what will probably be his last angling/environmental book (about the Wharfe in Yorkshire), The River of All the Goodbyes

Poppy October 2020 Chris's most recent book is The English Funerals (2021), a collection of ten-line prose poems. Stour Diaries (2019) explores the angling, history and culture of the Stour valley (!/STOUR-DIARIES/p/143105029). In recent memory, too, is Nomads of the Tides: Fishing for Irish Sea-Trout (2013, with Ken Whelan and James Sadler, see

­Chris continues to contribute with regularity - a happy or frightening regularity, depending on your point of view - to the UK journal Trout and Salmon. He was a long-term contributor to Waterlog (now annual). There are also literary journals to which Chris has been a regular contributor and publishing houses for whom over the years he has provided written work and advisory services. Many colleagues and publishers have become friends.

Chris is an Honorary Senior Research Fellow of the Faculty of Arts, University of Manchester. Until 2017 he was one of the directors of the Modern Literary Archives Project (John Rylands University Library, Manchester) and was also the convenor of the annual Rylands Reading. In 2018 he gained Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy and in 2019 was made Professor (University of Essex).

Chris is married and after living in the Netherlands for ten years, in 2013 he and Monika relocated to England. In his non-existent spare time Chris ties flies, reads extensively, develops the garden, plays the piano - and whenever the diary allows, he goes fishing. He's also currently bringing on the fourth of a succession of Labradors (see image right).

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