Although always interested in writing, Dr Lowe started entertaining ideas around poetry in her late 20s.
"I always liked rhyme and rhythm, the latter probably from learning to play music - the piano predominantly," she said. "But I didn't start writing poetry until I was in my late 20s, and I wouldn't say I had a gift for it then. It took many bad poems, a lot of poetry classes and workshops!"
Dr Lowe took four years to compile The Kids, with each of the 66 poems in the collection painstakingly shaped, honed and crafted. She was driven to complete the task by a desire to not only share her voice with others but to also understand her own viewpoint of the world.
"I needed the space, the time to reflect back on how studying and teaching had shaped my thinking," she said. "The political, personal and, particularly, about multicultural London, and the legacies of the empire that are still so alive in the education system."
Now a senior lecturer in Creative Writing at Brunel University, Dr Lowe hopes that winning the coveted prize will introduce new audiences to her work while playing a role in demystify the often-perceived challenging at form.
She said, "Many pupils leave school with the idea that poetry is difficult and that poems are like codes that need to be broken. One way into a poem is through reading it aloud, not just once, but many times, so that it becomes embodied, and perhaps so people can take ownership of the poem - by hearing it in their own voice. That's how I would encourage people to read the poems in The Kids.
"Poetry is important in so many ways - not least that it tries to distil something about the human condition or experience from the raw material of life. It can both interrogate and testify to experience, whether they be specific or universal or both - and it's a wonderful thing to hear a good poem read aloud."
The University of East London offers a BA in Creative and Professional Writing from the School of Arts and Creative Industries. To find our more, visit the course web page.