Mario Petrucci  




Mario originally graduated in Physics at Cambridge and later taught science in a secondary school. He gained a PhD in opto-electronics at University College London, and more recently completed postgraduate studies in the Environment and Literature departments of Middlesex University. He has also been an organic farm-hand in Ireland and a one-man band on the Paris Metro.

Mario is now a freelance writer, educator, researcher and essayist. He is successful as an Arvon tutor, literacy consultant at the Imperial War Museum, Fellow of the Royal Literary Fund, a performance and voice trainer, teacher and creative-writing tutor, and a signed songwriter/lyricist.

Mario is recognised across the country for his innovative approaches to residencies and the teaching of creative writing. He is adept at working with adults as well as in schools/colleges, and possesses an unrivalled reputation for his remarkably diverse and original work in poetry. He is also actively engaged in political and environmental writing. He dreams and sleeps in North London.



Shrapnel and Sheets (Headland, 1996 - reprinted 2000)

Debut collection, selected by Liz Lochhead and John Fuller as a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. Twice excerpted for the Forward Anthology. Launched in the "New Voices" series at the Royal Festival Hall. Featured on BBC radio and reviewed strongly across the literary press (see 'What The Press Says').

Available: £6.95, Headland Publications, 38 York Avenue, West Kirby, Wirral, Merseyside, CH48 3JF.

Lepidoptera (KT Press, 1999/2001 - 2 editions)

Experimental short stories and poetry.

"Lepidoptera is so fine and fascinating from so many points of view. I have never come across such an artful, knowledgeable and utterly engaging splicing of the worlds of Art and Science."

Prof. Rob Pope, Oxford Brookes University.

"It is unusual to find a writer so sure-footed across this multiple terrain."

Limited Edition. Available: £4.95 (+ £1 p&p) via

Bosco (Hearing Eye, 1999/2001 - 2 editions)

An ecological tour de force. Part of the Torriano list which has published poets such as John Heath-Stubbs. "The personified voice of the wilderness. Courageous, surreal, impassioned."

Available: £5.95, Hearing Eye, Box 1, 99 Torriano Avenue, London NW5 2RX.

The Stamina of Sheep (Havering Arts Office, 2001/2002)

Commissioned by London Arts. Poems and illustrations, inspired by Essex & the London Borough of Havering's local history and geology. Raises key issues on site-specific work for all potential resident writers. A unique and rewarding read for anyone interested in poetry residencies.

The accompanying Study Pack (see below) is a windfall of creative writing ideas for teachers, pupils, creative writing tutors and resident poets.

"This work should be the study of all Writers in Residence to see the level of excellence that can be achieved." Writing in Education, Autumn 2002.

Available: £5.95 (+ £1 p&p) via

The Havering Poetry Study Pack

The accompanying schools Study Pack for the 'Stamina of Sheep' project (see above). Crammed with ideas and writing exercises for schools and creative writers generally.

"An inspiring educational project. Unique." Head of English, Latymer School.

"Brimming with good ideas... it is not difficult to adapt the suggestions and activities presented to a more general use." Martyn Crucefix, poet and teacher.

Available: £2.95 (+ £1 p&p) via

Flowers of Sulphur (Enitharmon, 2004) - forthcoming.

"A fine synthesis of deeply felt personal experience and the wonders and exactitudes of science. Impressive in its strength, energy and tenderness." Moniza Alvi.

Available: via Enitharmon Press - 2004 onwards.

Journals and Magazines 

  • Over 500 poems, essays and critical articles in journals and magazines including The Spectator, The Independent, Ambit, Agenda, Leviathan Quarterly, Poetry Wales, The Rialto, Prospice, Iron, Bete Noire, The New Welsh Review, Poetry London Newsletter, Smith's Knoll, Poetry Nottingham, Poetry & Audience, Critical Quarterly and Blade.

  • Frequent contributor to: NAWE Writing in Education, Resurgence, Orbis, 
    Envoi, Acumen, Magma, The Frogmore Papers, Tabla
    , etc.

Anthologies, Periodicals, Editing (a selection) 

Featured in the The Arts Council of England: 2002 Writers' Awards Anthology.

Featured in: The Forward Anthology, 1996/7.

Guest Editorial, The Environmentalist (2002).

The Gift - New Writing for the NHS (David Morley, Stride).

'The English Studies Book' (2nd edition; Rob Pope, Routledge, 2002).

'The Poet's View' (Gladys Mary Coles, Headland).

'Writers in Schools - Millennium Anthology' (Thurrock Council).

'An Idea of Bosnia' (Autumn House, 1996).

'War, Literature & the Arts' (2002, An International Journal of the Humanities).

Public Art Journal - 'Anaesthesia or Synaesthesia?' (October, 1999).

'The FIAF Nitrate Book' (Imperial War Museum Publications, due 2002).

'Lost London - 2000 Years of London' (The Poetry Society & The Museum of London).

'The Bound Spiral' - 10 years' editorship.

Various articles and papers on Philosophy, Science and the Environment.

what the press says

"Far-seeing, generous, intelligent, full of humanity."  Maura Dooley.
"International and ambitious."  Orbis.
"Honesty, imagination and authority." Poetry Nottingham.
"Unfrivolous, clear-eyed and penetrating." Envoi.
"Wonderful contradiction." Poetry Review.
"One of the few contemporary poets exploring explicitly Italian themes and experiences in the mainstream of British literature."
Il Punto 65.
"Twin engines drive Mario Petrucci's poetry: one engine is a personal and cultural knowledge of the sweep of European history; the other is a scientific understanding few poets have. Between them, these engines take Mario's poetry to dazzling heights." 
Ian McMillan.
"Great first collection... It's true to say that the work of some poets can show a kind of workshop fatigue: Mario Petrucci's poems have been liberated by being worked on. The language and form sparkles and glitters."
Jane Holland, Blade 2.
"Deliciously funny, wholly sympathetic... characteristic in its laconic, telling detail."
Envoi 115.
"Mario Petrucci has you in his power... Whether he is showing you an autopsy, discussing chickens, or talking about his family, it is all instantly believable, it all rings true. It is this ability to take you into any situation and make it real that is the hallmark of real talent. Yes, indeed, it does leave us breathless." 
Zene 12.
"It is a great pleasure to find a poet who has spent most of his time over many years working to help and promote other poets... finally appearing himself with a fine first full collection [Shrapnel and Sheets], carrying a well deserved PBS Recommendation. He is one of several poets including Peter Redgrove, Kathleen Raine and recently Alice Oswald whose scientific training provides an added dimension for poetry... A brilliantly varied book by a true European, whose sympathetic understanding extends to every human condition. Everyone should read it."  
Anne Born,  
"Petrucci is a marvellous writer. He makes you see what he sees... Honed, precise, intense." 
Iota 36.
(on Bosco):
"In the trees and forests of this powerful sequence of poems, there is more than aesthetic pleasure. There is a celebration of life itself. This is poetry with a purpose, in language that is a joy to read."  
David Duncombe, Poetry Nottingham.
"Clear intellect and strong unmistakable voice... Both a lament on our disappearing forests and an existential comment on 20th century urbanisation, this sequence epitomises Petrucci's passionate and compassionate 'take' on contemporary issues... I read this twice at one sitting."
Roselle Angwin, Orbis 115.
"Muscular beauty... This poetry is of a high order."
Stella Stocker, Weyfarers 85.

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