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University of Warwick Researcher Says Poetry Publishing in Crisis

Originally published - 29 January 2002

University of Warwick researcher David Morley will open a major debate on the future of poetry on Wednesday 30th January at the University of Warwick by claiming that:

"These are bleak times to be a new poet. At the major presses, the accountants are in charge and poetry is virtually banned. When Oxford University Press slammed its doors on poets last year it signalled the end of a long tradition of publishing. And there was worse to come. Faber and Cape slimmed their list to a trickle of books. Bloodaxe announced a three year moratorium on publishing new work. The few presses left are underfunded and understaffed, yet overwhelmed with new poets clamouring at the sacred gate".

David Morley, Director of the University of Warwick's "Warwick Writing Programmme" will make these remarks as chair of a debate entitled The Crisis in Poetry Publishing at the University of Warwick's Arts Centre, on Wednesday 30th January at 7.15pm, which will bring together for the first time five of the key players from the publishing industry to discuss the issues involved in poetry publishing today. Details on the panellists now follow: As chairman of Bloodaxe Books, Simon Thirsk has wrestled with their finance/marketing/survival problems for 20 years. Esther Morgan is the editor of the press Pen&Inc. She lectures in creative writing at the University of East Anglia and has published her first collection with Bloodaxe. Christina Patterson is the new Director of The Poetry Society, the poets’ equivalent of the NUS. Rupert Loydell is an acclaimed poet and Arts Council Poetry Fellow at Warwick; he edits Stride Publications. Matthew Hollis is co-editor of Strong Words: Modern Poets on Modern Poetry (Bloodaxe), and works first as an editor at Oxford University Press and now at Faber as assistant poetry editor. David Morley, Director of the Warwick Writing Programme and a poet himself, chairs the debate, which will be recorded and published.

For further information please contact:

David Morely, University of Warwick Tel: 024 76 523346

Further Information
Notes for editors: Members of the public wishing to attend the debate can get Tickets ?4.50 (?3) From the Warwick Arts Centre Box office at 024 7652 4524 or at