John McCarthy is the author of Scared Violent like Horses (Milkweed Editions, 2019), which was selected by Victoria Chang as the winner of the Jake Adam York Prize. He is also the author of one previous poetry collection, Ghost County (Midwestern Gothic Press, 2016), which was named a Best Poetry Book of 2016 by The Chicago Review of Books.
John’s work has appeared in American Literary Review, Columbia Poetry Review, Copper Nickel, December, Fifth Wednesday, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Hobart, Jabberwock Review, The Minnesota Review, New Ohio Review, New South, Passages North, Rhino, Redivider, Salamander, Sycamore Review, TriQuarterly, Zone 3, and in anthologies such as New Poetry from the Midwest 2017, as well as Best New Poets 2015, which he was selected for by the U.S. Poet Laureate, Tracy K. Smith. Additionally, he was the 2016 winner of The Pinch Literary Award in Poetry.
John holds a BA in Writing and Publishing from Benedictine University and an MFA in Creative Writing from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. He has received writing residencies from creative centers in Croatia, Iceland, and France. Originally from Central Illinois, John moved to Southern Illinois for three years before moving to the Greater Chicago Area where he currently resides.