John Muckle

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John Muckle (born 9 December 1954) is a British writer who has published fiction, poetry and literary criticism.

Born in Kingston-upon-Thames, he grew up in the village of Cobham, Surrey. After qualifying as a teacher and working in London FE colleges, he moved into in book publishing, first for small literary publisher Marion Boyars, moving on to Grafton Books (later subsumed into HarperCollins)as a paperback copywriter. In the mid-1980s he initiated the Paladin Poetry Series. Muckle was General Editor of its flagship anthology The New British Poetry (Paladin, 1988), commissioning other titles before leaving in anticipation of the company's dissolution by Rupert Murdoch. The poetry imprint was subsequently edited by London writer Iain Sinclair. He worked as a freelance copywriter before returning to teaching, for five years at Essex University, later on in various other jobs.

Muckle's first book The Cresta Run was well-reviewed. Norman Shrapnel wrote in The Guardian: "An identifiable vernacular for this still measurable sector of the populace - working-class if not always working - is amply available and John Muckle's excellent stories prove it. The territory of The Cresta Run is short on dropouts and introverts; it's more a world of sleazy service stations, hot-dog vans and skinheads along the Hog's Back, dangerous sailors hot from the Falklands, people you watch your words with."

He has since published fiction and poetry, contributed to literary journals and written essays on poetry, including that of Allen Ginsberg, Ed Dorn, Bill Griffiths, Tom Raworth and Denise Riley. In 1989 he received a Hawthornden Writers' Fellowship.


It Is Now As It Was Then (with Ian Davidson, poetry, Mica Press/Actual Size, 1983)

The Cresta Run (short stories, Galloping Dog Press, 1987)

Bikers (with Bill Griffiths, Amra Imprint, 1990)

Cyclomotors (illustrated novella, Festival Books, 1997)

Firewriting and Other Poems (Shearsman Books, 2005)

London Brakes (novel – Shearsman Books, 2010)

My Pale Tulip (novel – Shearsman Books, 2012)

Little White Bull: British Fiction in the Fifties and Sixties (criticism – Shearsman Books, 2014)

Falling Through (novel - Shearsman Books, 2017)

As editor

The New British Poetry 1968-88 (eds Allnutt, D’Aguiar, Mottram, Edwards – General Editor – Paladin, 1988)