Scared Violent like Horses (Forthcoming, Milkweed Editions, 2019), winner of the 2017 Jake Adam York Prize

Ghost County (Midwestern Gothic Press, 2016), which was named a Best Poetry Book of 2016 by The Chicago Review of Books

Select Poetry

American Literary Review: “Noise Falling Backwards” (2018)

Best New Poets 2015, “Definitions of Body(2015)

Columbia Poetry Review, Vol. 30, “Pie Tins Behind Porch Lights” and “Word Problem”  (2017)

Copper Nickel, Vol. 24, “North End, 1997” (2017)

December, “What I Mean When I Say I Don’t Box Anymore” (Jeff Marks Memorial Prize Finalist, 2016)

Hayden’s Ferry Review, Vol. 61, “Flyover Country” (2018)

Hobart, “Self-Portrait as Home Run Ball” (2017)

The Minnesota Review, Issue 84, “Pickup Truck #5” (2015)

New South, Vol. 10. 1, “Self-Portrait as Psychiatric Ward” (2017)

Passages North, Vol. 40, “Switchgrass” (Forthcoming, 2019)

The Pinch, Vol. 37.1, “Hymn” (Winner of The Pinch 2016 Literary Award in Poetry, 2017)

Redivider, Vol. 13.1, “Daguerrotype” (2015)

Sycamore Review, Vol. 28.1, “Cremation” (2017)

ZiN Daily, “On Fighting” and “Same Old Story,” (2018)

Zone 3, “Baptism,” and “Sometimes I Call The Damage Healing” (2017)


The Chicago Review of Books: “A Love Letter to the Midwest: John McCarthy’s Ghost County”

Fear No Lit: Fail Better: Talking Shop with John McCarthy

Poets & Writers: “John McCarthy Recommends