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 went on to complete a doctorate at the University of Manchester in 1988.

For many years Chris continued to work in the Department of English at Manchester, specialising in teaching and research on language-related topics, particularly poetic form, poetic history and the history of the English language. During the 1980s and 90s Chris authored, edited or co-authored collections of poems; essays; a fragment of angling autobiography (that ended up as fiction); a textbook on metrical theory; a dictionary of fly-fishing; conference proceedings . . . and continued producing academic papers, essays, reviews and angling features. Some of this work appeared in two journals with which Chris has long been associated,
PN Review and Trout & Salmon. Chris also engaged in at least one lecture tour across the USA, and travelled widely elsewhere in the world to give poetry readings, academic papers and talks.

In 2003 Chris left the UK to live in the Netherlands, where he spent a decade writing, teaching at different universities and catching pike and zander. The last activity underlay the making of
Fishing and Pike Lures (Medlar, 2009). Over the same period he also fished many waters in Ireland and elsewhere for sea-trout, developing an ambitious collaborative project (2007-13) with Ken Whelan, James Sadler, the photographer Gardiner Mitchell and many other sterling anglers and naturalists on both sides of the Irish border. This work resulted in one of Chris’s major publications, Nomads of the Tides (with Ken Whelan and James Sadler, Medlar, 2013).

After living in Holland for ten years, in 2013 he and Monika relocated to England. In Essex and Suffolk he has explored the angling, wildlife and culture of the Stour valley and that interest resulted in a further Medlar book,
Stour Diaries (2019). Now on the point of retirement as Professor in the Department of Literature, Film and Theatre Studies at the University of Essex, he still occasionally writes angling features for the press and generally divides his angling time between East Anglia and Yorkshire, with regular trips further afield. In his non-existent spare time Chris brings on young Poppy, the fourth in a succession of Labradors, plays the piano, ties flies, develops his garden - and, of course, he goes fishing.

Chris’s website can be found at His recent and forthcoming book publications include the following:

Names of the Fish in British and Irish Freshwaters (Medlar, to appear 2022)

A Few Late Wasps: Collected Poems 1982-2022 (forthcoming from Carcanet, 2023)

The River of All the Goodbyes (forthcoming from Medlar, 2022)

The English Funerals (Muscaliet Press, 2021)

Beowulf: A Translation and a Reading (Carcanet, 2018)

Four Places (Muscaliet Press, 2018)

Other published titles include:
Fishing and Pike Lures (2009 Medlar Press)
Goodbye, Mr Wonderful 2004 Jessica Kingsley (London)
The Earliest English 2005, Longman Pearson - co-authored
English Historical Metrics 2006, CUP - co-edited
Passion for Pike 2006, Westerlaan -  Editor, in collaboration with the Dutch writer, artist and photographer Ad Swier
Sketches with Fishing Rods 2008, Westerlaan
The Sound Structure of English, 2009 Polder
Selected Poems, 2011 Carcanet
Outside, 2011 Two Ravens Press
Analysing Older English, 2011 CUP - co-authored