Tag Archives: Maureen Owen

The “Cosmic Prisms” of Maureen Owen – and Other Beyond Baroque Events

I hope that the praise of one of my favorite poets, Sean Thomas Daugherty, will encourage you to attend Maureen Owen’s reading at Beyond Baroque tomorrow, Feb. 24, at 4:00 p.m.: “(Maureen Owen’s) prose poems are like cosmic prisms.” Fearlessly absorbing and enfolding the complex instances of what makes this day different from all others, Owens indeed summons the prisms lurking in muted harmony within the apparently ordinary, and makes them sing. Her gift extends beyond that, though: she makes us want to sing along, and find those harmonies in our own lives, too.

Owen’s reading will culminate a particularly fine set of readings at Beyond Baroque. On Friday, several translators of contemporary Italian poetry celebrated “Those Who from Afar Look Like Flies,” an anthology of poems by such figures as Pasolini, Majorino, Pagliarani, Rosselli, Sanguineti, and Zanzotto. Saturday’s reading included Brenda Hillman, who would certainly get a hearty round of applause from me if it were announced that she has been appointed the next poet laureate of California by Governor Newsom.

Upcoming events at Beyond Baroque include weekends with the following combinations:

MARCH 8 FRIDAY 8:00 PM: POETRY READING HAPTICS, WITH STEPHEN VINCENT AND DOUGLAS MESSERLI
MARCH 10 SUNDAY 1:00 PM: JACK GRAPES & RICHARD JONES
AND AT 5:00 PM: JIM NATAL & DOROTHY BARRESI

MARCH 15 FRIDAY 8:00 PM: JEFF MCMAHON SIX MONOLOGUES

MARCH 16 SATURDAY 4:00 PM: BEYOND SPANISH
Poetry in Basque, Catalan, Galician and Spanish with Josu Baque, Mónica Comas Rodríguez, Jennifer Holmes, Unai Nafarrate, Jurgio Valinhas and Mariano Zaro. Sponsored by the Education Office of the Consulate General of Spain. FREE

MARCH 16 SATURDAY 8:00 PM: OVERPOPULATION & ART
S.A. Griffin’s 65 birthday party will feature a performance of John Cage’s “Overpopulation and Art.”

Maureen Owen Reads at Beyond Baroque on Sunday, the 24th

Thursday, February 21, 2019

in the early 1970s, I cast my lot with poets outside of the academy, and it is a pleasure to announce that one of the kindred spirits I most admire in the independent press movement will be reading at Beyond Baroque this coming Sunday, February 24, starting at 4 p.m. Maureen Owen is one of the twenty most important poet-editors of the past half-century, and she has been accompanied by poet and fiction writer Barbara Henning for a little over a month on a cross-country reading tour. A blog of their trip, which launched itself with a reading in Brooklyn, New York on January 18th, can be found at: http://barbarahenning.com/category/maureenowen/

I first encountered a substantial selection of Owen’s work in the 1970s, in issue number five of a magazine called BIG DEAL, and have often wondered why she is not as prominent as some other poets associated with one phase or another of the “New York School.” She certainly did an extraordinary amount of heroic work in the community of poets in the Lower East Side.
Steve Clay’s extraordinary documentary survey of independent presses is the best and most easily accessible source for beginning to appreciate the accomplishments of Maureen Owen as an editor and publisher.

Telephone

However, her own collections of poetry are even more deserving of our attention. Her most recent book, EDGES OF WATER, is from Chax Press in Arizona, a project that its founder Charles Alexander has made one of the outstanding literary publishers in the United States. Other books include AMERICAN RUSH: Selected Poems(Talisman House, 1998), which was a finalist for the L.A. Times Book Prize; and Erosion’s Pull (Coffee House, 2006).

Barbara Henning’s books include four novels as well as collections of poetry, the most recent one being A DAY LIKE THIS (Negative Capability, 2015).

For an extended interview with Maureen Owen, I recommend the following:

In Conversation With Maureen Owen