From CW student to author – Andrew McMillan


‘You’ve to put yourself out in the world and allow things to happen to you so they can become poems.’

A young poet whose debut collection, Physical, has been longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and shortlisted for the 2015 Forward Prize. And he also has a permanent position at Liverpool John Moores University.

As writers, I am sure that more than once you have heard that making a living out of poetry is as easy as catching a unicorn in your backyard. Do you still believe that? Listen to Andrew McMillan and you might change your mind….

Even if Andrew McMillan recognises that ‘there’s just no money in poetry’, his impressive career can certainly be an inspiration for any aspiring writer. Since he started his BA at Lancaster University he has been involved in several literary projects as the co-founder of Cake Magazine. If you’re wondering how to transit from a Creative Writing student into an author, you will find a lot of advice in this interview.  ‘At first expect to do a bit for free…’, Andy states, and also ‘apply for everything that comes up…’ because ‘part of it is self-promotion and part of it is putting your stuff out there so people starts recognising your name.’

What can you find in this interview?

-How to apply for residences as a prose writer and a poet.

-Ideas for activities related to writing that can give you experience. Andrew suggested to regularly check

-The creative process in poetry.

-Experiences as a lecturer in Creative Writing.

Texts read:

If It Wasn’t for The Night (poem).

A Gift (poem).

Do you want to know more about Andrew McMillan?

-Check out his book Physical.

-Check out his twitter.

-Check out his personal page.

Many thanks to our meticulous editor, Terry Garanhel, and the founder of the programme, Yvonne Battle-Felton. And, of course, to Andrew McMillan, for being such a friendly and approachable artist! We wish you the very best in your career as a poet.

Don’t forget to check our next interview on Sunday 18th at 6pm with slipstream fiction writer Gary J Flood.

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