Seren Poetry Editor Amy Wack announces her retirement

8 October 2021 - 11:20am

Seren Poetry Editor Amy Wack announces her retirement

8 October 2021 - 11:20am

Hello everyone. After a quite wonderful 30 years, I’ve decided to step down as Poetry Editor for Seren at the end of October. It has been a huge pleasure and a lifelong education to work with so many stunning artists over the years.

I’m please to say that it would take way too much space to name everyone I would like to thank. I have written a brief article outlining my time at Seren for The Friday Poem site.

I do thank my current colleagues: Simon Hicks, Jamie Hill, Sarah Johnson and Jannat Ahmed, Seren Founding Director Cary Archard and Managing Editor Mick Felton and all the staff and Board Members over the years who have been so helpful, particularly Penny Thomas and Rebecca Parfitt, and all the Editors of Poetry Wales magazine.

Seren (along with the Welsh Books Council) has been forward-thinking in allowing me to work from home for some years. I plan to relax and also to work on some of my own creative projects.

I would also like to thank all you readers who keep faith in the great art of Poetry.

I also think it is time to welcome a new generation of people to the arts in Wales. Seren will be appointing a new Editor, meanwhile, if you would like to honor my tenure as Editor, please just go ahead and order one of our recent collections ( there are no less than three out this week) from the Seren website or subscribe to Poetry Wales magazine.

Amy Wack


On behalf of Seren: 

The poetry landscape of Wales and, more widely, of the UK, will change with the retirement of Amy Wack as editor at Seren, as it changed with her appointment as one of the first women poetry editors in UK publishing. For the past thirty years Amy has nurtured, promoted and championed poets from Wales and beyond. Her editing has been marked by her fine ear, her capacious knowledge of poetry past and present, her ability to see where a poet and a poem are going, her relationships with her poets, and an editorial élan in structuring and fine-tuning. These strengths gave the Seren poetry list a reputation for quality, breadth and innovation. It included two Costa Prize winners and numerous other prize-winning and shortlisted titles. Amy was a discoverer and encourager of new poets, the long list of which includes, most recently, Kim Moore, Jonathan Edwards, Rhian Edwards, Polly Atkin and Abeer Ameer.

In her broader contribution to poetry generally, Amy was co-editor of the influential anthology Women’s Work, and recognized the influence of locale in the Poems from pamphlet series. She was a long term judge of the annual Mslexia Poetry Pamphlet prize, and for many years has run First Thursday, a kind of poetry salon in Cardiff which has spread internationally when it shifted online during the pandemic. Alongside this, Amy also founded the Seren Cardiff Poetry Festival, a weekend of poetry events and workshops, which also migrated online.

All this then while contributing ideas to Seren’s other lists and helping to develop it generally. Amy’s going to be missed by many – her current colleagues, her poets, and the many people she touched through her work.