Moya Pacey

Since I first became aware that words made a pattern on the page and I could make sense of them, I’ve been fascinated. I like chasing down words to find the very best one I need to express an idea or a feeling. I like the sounds words make. I like to hear poems read aloud and I like poetry that does not waste words.

I get my inspiration from everywhere. Something I’ve read, an image I’ve seen, a word or a phrase, a story, a dream and especially from memory.

I like to arrive at a finished poem without necessarily knowing beforehand what it is I need to write about. The process of writing a poem is endlessly fascinating. And I’m often surprised by what arrives on the page. This is why I keep on writing – to surprise myself.

I’m always reading new poets and re-reading my favourites. Often, I go back to those who write from the heart without artifice or too much show. Emily Dickinson said of her work that she wanted to, ‘violate the notion of poetry as a formed artifact’

I also like what was said of Carver that his ‘artlessness burned so fiercely it consumed all trace of process. His words arrived on the page like ‘a comet without a tail.’


Moya PaceyMoya Pacey published her third collection Doggerland with Recent Work Press in 2020. She is a founding editor of the women’s online poetry journal Not Very Quiet and every third Monday curates and co-hosts Not Very Quiet @That Poetry Thing at Smith’s.

Both of her previous poetry collections Black Tulips (Recent Work Press) and The Wardrobe were shortlisted for the ACT Writers Centre Poetry Award and she published One Last Border (Ginninderra Press) poetry for refugees with Sandra Renew and Hazel Hall.

Her poems have been anthologised, and most recently published in The Canberra Times, Blue Nib, London Grip, Burrow, Fem Asia, Axon, Cicerone Journal, ARTEMISPoetry UK, Meniscus, Terrain, Silence Anthology (University of Canberra) and longlisted in 2019 for the University of Canberra International Poetry Competition.

In 2019 she was awarded a Canberra Critics’ Circle Award, along with Sandra Renew, for her influential work in exposing women’s poetry to view through the online journal for women’s poetry Not Very Quiet.

In October 2018, she was Poet in Residence at the Elizabeth Bishop House in Great Village, Nova Scotia, Canada.

She has an MA in Creative and Life Writing from Goldsmiths College University of London.