Monday, October 7, 2013

Poetry Monday: Rochelle Owens

Rochelle Owen is a poet, playwright, translator and video artist who has published, among many other things, eighteen books of poetry, the latest of which is Out of Ur just released by Shearsman Books. 

Out of Ur is an extraordinary collection of new work and older work taken from the period between 1961 and 2012. The poems meld classicism with a post-modern sharpness. The work is simultaneously lyrical and starkly confronting.  The poems, which I'm still in the process of reading, take the reader in multiple directions, sometimes at the same time - moving outward to places like the streets of Marrakech, and inward into the brain or the makings of the creative process. Observation and realism mingle with meta-poeticism. It's dense and satisfying work that I'm looking forward to spending more time with.

The PennSound page on Rochelle Owens is a treasure trove of MP3s, videos and text collected from a variety of readings, which will no doubt be augmented by the upcoming reading by Rochelle and her equally illustrious husband George Economou at the Kelly Writers House in Pennsylvania on Thurs the 17th of Oct at 6pm (Arts Cafe if you're in the area).  The following little excerpt is from the poem "The Glacier" which is published in its entirety in Out of Ur:

‘Green the gardens of Tuscany’
the word ‘avore’ tattood on her forehead snow forming ice
the glacier expanding outward outward moving slowly slowly

lumps of ice tilting twisting rows of words order of words

‘Green the gardens of Tuscany’
parts of words
the word ‘abandon’ stuck in her throat lovely the letters like roots
spirals of roots multicellular
slender pliant twigs
lovely the letters like arteries

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