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Rachel McCarthy

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Nationality  British
Role  Poet
Name  Rachel McCarthy

Notable works  Element
Education  Durham University
Rachel McCarthy Moseley event Alphabet of Our Universe by Rachel McCarthy Dear

Born  31 July 1984 (age 31) Preston, Lancashire, England, UK (1984-07-31)
Occupation  Scientist, Poet, Broadcaster

Notable awards  Laureate's Choice 2015

Rachel McCarthy 'Survey North of 60' from Element

Rachel McCarthy (born 31 July 1984) is a British scientist, poet and broadcaster.


Early life and education

Rachel McCarthy was born in Preston, Lancashire. She was educated at St Mary's Catholic Primary School in Leyland, Leyland St Mary's Catholic High School and studied six A-levels at Runshaw College, Leyland. She went on to study Natural Sciences at Durham University as a member of University College. She graduated in 2006 with double first class honours in Chemistry and Physics.


In 2008 she joined the Met Office soon becoming a Senior Climate Scientist, specialising in Climate Impacts and Disaster Risk Reduction. In 2010 she was seconded to London to advise the UK Government Department of Energy and Climate Change on policy matters relating to weather and climate including renewable energy provision. On her return to the Met Office she worked as Private Secretary to the Met Office Chief Scientist Prof. Dame Julia Slingo and became the first to hold the post of Expert Scientist in Communications.

In 2009 she established ExCite Poetry, the Devon arm of the UK Poetry Society. Within six months of its formation, ExCite Poetry became the largest regional arm of the Poetry Society by a significant margin with well over 200 members and was consequently the focus of a BBC Radio 4 programme. Between 2009 and 2013 she co-hosted a monthly arts-review show on Phonic FM, hailed by the Sunday Times as "providing some of the most inspiring broadcasting in the country".

In 2013 she became Director of the Exeter Poetry Festival.

Honours and awards

In 2015 she was chosen by Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy as one of four of the most exciting new voices in British poetry that year. Her first pamphlet "Element" was published in June 2015 by Smith Doorstop under the imprint of Laureate's Choice.


  • Element - Laureate's Choice award 2015
  • Anthologised in the Poetry Business Book of New Contemporary Poets (2014)
  • "Survey at 70 North" (2013)
  • "Mendeleev's Horse", broadcast on BBC Radio 4 (2011)
  • "Two followers of Cadmus devoured by a dragon" (2010) Shearsman magazine issue 83/84, April 2010
  • "Murmuration" (2009) commissioned by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, for performance as part of the One and Other project by Anthony Gormley atop the Fourth Plinth at Trafalgar Square, London.
  • Scientific papers

  • McCarthy, R., 2015: "Climate Communication: Bringing It All Together" - presented at Our Common Future Under Climate Change Conference, Paris, July 2015",
  • Met Office., 2014: "Too hot, too dry, too wet, too cold: Drivers and impacts of seasonal weather in the UK"
  • Met Office., 2013: "The recent pause in global warming(3): What are the implications for projections of future warming?"
  • Met Office., 2013: "The recent pause in global warming(2): What are the potential causes?"
  • Met Office., 2013: "The recent pause in global warming(1): What do the observations tell us?"
  • Palin et al., 2013: "Future projections of temperature-related climate change impacts on the railway network of Great Britain", Climatic Change, 120(1- 2), 71-93
  • Articles and essays

  • "A Different Sort of Provocation"(The London Magazine, March 2016)
  • "Climate Variability and Change: Migration and the Changing Concepts of Identity and Home in the Poetry of European Women'" (Cambridge Scholars, March 2014).
  • "Weeding Out Success: The Inaugural Ted Hughes Award" (The Bookseller, March 2010).
  • "Midas Touch: What Carol Ann Duffy's appointment means for the laureateship" (Poetry News, Summer 2009).
  • "Great Expectations for Duff" (The Bookseller, May 2009).
  • "Andrew Motion: Leaving the Laureateship" (Pan Macmillan, April 2009).
  • "On Gender and Poetry" (Pan Macmillan, Feb 2009).
  • References

    Rachel McCarthy Wikipedia