How the Sausage Gets Made: Debut Poets on Making a First Book

Room 2103B, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level
Friday, February 9, 2024
1:45 pm to 3:00 pm


We all dream of holding our first published book, bound and beautiful, in our hands. But how does that stack of printed-out pages on your desk turn into a finished book? Four debut poets from a range of backgrounds will offer detailed, transparent recounting of their journeys to a debut collection, addressing questions of manuscript preparation, publishing process, complications encountered, and post-publication advice. Audience Q&A will follow the presentations.

Outline & Supplemental Documents

Event Outline: AWP_Outline.pdf



Sara R. Burnett is the author of Seed Celestial, winner of the 2021 Autumn House Press Poetry Prize. She holds a MFA from the University of Maryland and an MA in English literature from the University of Vermont. She lives in Maryland with her husband and two young children.

Mary-Alice Daniel was born in northern Nigeria and raised in England and Tennessee. A cross-genre writer, she won the 2022 Yale Younger Poets Prize and authored the tricontinental memoir, A Coastline Is an Immeasurable Thing. She holds the 2024 Mary Routt Endowed Chair of Writing at Scripps College.

Eileen G’Sell's criticism and poetry can be found in The Baffler, Fence, DIAGRAM, The Hopkins Review, and Reverse Shot. Her first book Life After Rugby was published in 2018; in 2023 she was nominated for the Rabkin Prize in arts journalism. She teaches at Washington University in St. Louis.

Anne Myles is author of the forthcoming collection Late Epistle, winner of the 2022 Sappho’s Prize in Poetry, and the chapbook What Woman That Was: Poems for Mary Dyer. Following retirement from an academic position in literature, she received her MFA from the Vermont College of Fine Arts.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center