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Online Q&A panel: ‘The Path to a First Collection’ with Amy Wack, Hannah Lowe, Kim Moore and Neil Astley

The path to a first collection – torturous and winding, or downhill all the way?

As part of our CAMPUS Digital Open Day, we’ve put together a powerhouse panel of two poet/editor pairings – Amy Wack & Kim Moore, and Hannah Lowe & Neil Astley – who’ll be here to talk luck versus hard work, being in the right place at the right time, and the graft of submission, acceptance and rejection.  Talking of rejection – how many manuscripts do editors really read a week? How do the pile of pages turn into an object? What is the most important consideration when taking on a first collection (apart from the poems of course – or is that the only consideration?)

Our poets and editors will also be answering questions submitted by the CAMPUS community, on everything from titling poems, to ordering a collection and what to do once you’ve (finally) been accepted.

This online panel is free to join, and will be moderated by Kim Moore and The Poetry School.


Title: ‘The Path to a First Collection: Pilgrimage, Exploration or Quest’

Date: Wednesday 7 May 2014, 5pm GMT


To reserve your place on this free online panel discussion, please RSVP: [email protected]


Amy Wack was born in Florida, raised in California and has lived for 25 years in Wales. She was educated at San Diego State University and has an MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia University in Manhattan. She has worked as the Poetry Editor for Seren Press since the early 1990’s. Seren’s publications have gone on to win all the major poetry prizes. Her reviews, poems and articles have appeared in the UK and the USA.

Hannah Lowe is a poet and prose writer. She has published two pamphlets – The Hitcher (The Rialto 2011) and Rx (sine wave peak, 2013).  Her first full collection Chick (Bloodaxe, 2013) was shortlisted for the Forward Best First Collection Prize and the Aldeburgh Fenton best first collection. Her memoir Long Time, No See is forthcoming in 2015. She is currently studying for a PhD in Creative Writing, alongside freelance teaching for the Poetry School and elsewhere.

Kim Moore’s first pamphlet If We Could Speak Like Wolves was shortlisted for the Michael Marks Award in 2013 after winning the 2012 Poetry Business Pamphlet Competition.   She won an Eric Gregory Award in 2011 and the Geoffrey Dearmer Prize in 2010.  She has published widely in magazines including The TLS, Poetry Review, The Rialto and The North.  She works part-time as a peripatetic brass teacher for Cumbria Music Service and her collection is forthcoming from Seren in 2015. She is the Poetry School’s third Digital Poet in Residence.

Neil Astley is editor of Bloodaxe Books, which he founded in 1978. His books include novels, poetry collections and anthologies, most notably the Bloodaxe Staying Alive trilogy: Staying Alive (Bloodaxe, UK 2002/ Miramax, US 2003), Being Alive (2004) and Being Human (2011), along with Essential Poems from the Staying Alive Trilogy (2012). His other anthologies (all these from Bloodaxe) include Passionfood: 100 love poems (2005/2014), Earth Shattering: ecopoems (2007), The World Record: international voices from Southbank Centre’s Poetry Parnassus [with Anna Selby] (2012), The Hundred Years’ War: modern war poems (2014), and three collaborations with with Pamela Robertson-Pearce, Soul Food: nourishing poems for starved minds (2008), and the DVD-books In Person: 30 Poets (2008) and In Person: World Poets (2014).

One Comment

  • Kerry darbishire

    I’m unable to join in with First Collection at 5pm. Will you be posting up Q’s and Answers later? I have my first collection just about to go to the publisher and would love to hear any comments regarding this. Thanks.

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