Tag Archives: Main Street Rag

Former NC Poet Laureate Kay Byer Endorses Eye of the Beholder

Here is what former NC Poet Laureate Kathryn Stripling Byer says about Eye of the Beholder:

“The eye in Scott Owens’ “Eye of the Beholder” is the passionate “I” of the poet, watching every turn and gesture of the beloved and speaking from it, sounding the lineaments of desire in each poem and pulling the reader into its embrace. Over the years, Owens has ranged widely in subject matter and style. This is his most intimate book yet, his voice tender, full of longing and anticipation. He beholds what he loves, whether woman, blossom, or falling leaf, all of it gathered up in the world’s body, the ultimate beloved, after all, that he renders in finely tuned lyrics.”

This is one of those wonderfully gratifying moments a writer can only hope happens: when a poet whom you admire almost beyond words endorses your own work with a perceptive and intelligent evaluation. One of my goals as a writer has been to avoid limiting myself in regards to subject matter or “voice,” and I am thrilled that Kay comments on that very element in my writing. I am also thrilled that what I hoped would be the underlying feeling of the book is as it reflects how I feel about the world is perceived and stated so clearly in Kay’s words.

If you haven’t already ordered a copy, you can still get the pre-publication discount by ordering with PayPal at http://mainstreetrag.com/bookstore/product/eye-of-the-beholder/, but since the release date has been moved up to mid-October, it won’t be available at that rate much longer. Please give it a shot. For $9 how could you go wrong?

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“Eye of the Beholder” Discount

Time to re-post this as it has fallen off the front page of my website. The discount is still valid.

My new book of poems, Eye of the Beholder, is now available for pre-order through Main Street Rag’s new online bookstore. Here is a link that will take you to their listing for the book where you can see the cover art (by Valerie MacEwan), read a few poems from the book and place your order at a $5 discount off the cover price: Eye of the Beholder.

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These are poems mostly about love. I wouldn’t call them all love poems, but they are about love in some fashion or another. The book is slated for release in January. Of course I have to sell enough pre-publication copies by then for MSR to move forward, and if I sell enough sooner, then it will get pushed up in the publication queue. So, help me out by ordering a copy now. I will be doing a number of readings starting in February and will be glad to sign previously bought copies then.

Here is what Philip Dacey says about the book: The poetry of Scott Owens traces the contours of loss and hope, possibility and renewal. A heartfelt quality or soulfulness, best defined as the determination to speak honestly and courageously of important personal matters, pervades this book and gives it emotional urgency page after page. Drawn to what he calls “a poetics of excess,” Owens nevertheless embodies Cocteau’s definition of tact–“knowing how far to go in going too far”–while striking a similar balance between long poems and haiku-like or koan-like short ones, which provide a kind of seasoning for the feast of the whole. Especially notable at the book’s center is a love poem Neruda would have been happy to write, the laser-intense “You in the Tomb of My Eyes,” a paean to the night that anchors the surrounding testimonies to a life lived passionately and thoughtfully. Owens knows poetry is a serious business; while various other poets these days might seem caught up in gamesmanship, this poet plays for keeps.
–Philip Dacey, Editor of Strong Measures

Mostly, I hope you’ll take a look at the website, read the sample poems, and enjoy them enough that you want to read more.

Cover Art

Now that my son has managed to change the banner on this website, it seems appropriate to give a shout out to those who created the cover art for the books you see. The covers of three of the titles in the banner were from photos by my friend and Catawba Valley Community College colleague, Clayton Joe Young. The photographs on Paternity, Something Knows the Moment, and For One Who Knows How to Own Land were all taken by Joe. You can see more of his work, including the photographs from our collaboration, Country Roads on his website. The photos from our collaboration have been on exhibit in the Bethlehem Library, the Burke County Arts Center, and at CVCC, and we will be on exhibit later this fall in the Caldwell County Arts Center. They will host a reception including a reading from the poems on November 1.

The cover for Eye of the Beholder was created by Valerie Macewan, editor of Dead Mule. It is a photo of one of her multi-media, found art creations. She calls herself an assemblagist, defined as “one who pro­vides the rede­f­i­n­i­tion of dis­placed ephemera and found objects by allow­ing for the move­ment of spa­tial and uni­ver­sal con­cepts via place­ment, thus cre­at­ing the intent of objects pre­vi­ously lim­ited only by the influ­ence of space and time.” She says, “Assem­blage Art re-​purposes man’s ephemeral detri­tus and gives it new life.” Some of her work can be seen on her blog.

The other cover in the banner, The Fractured World is a photo I took of my front walk and M. Scott Douglass digitally enhanced by adding a grainier texture to what was a smooth, albeit cracked, walkway. Douglass, in fact, did the cover layout for all of the Main Street Rag books. Diane Kistner did the layout and tweaked the color for For One Who Knows How to Own Land.

Of the covers not in the banner, Country Roads is, of course, a photo by Clayton Joe Young; The Nature of Attraction is a charcoal and oil sketch by Antoine de Villiers at antoineart.com; Shadows Trail Them Home is a photo by Pris Campbell’s friend, Shae Leighland-Pence at shaeleighland.com; and The Persistence of Faith is a photo taken by publisher, Ahsen Jillani of his wife Lisa’s shadow on my driveway when I lived in Charlotte.

Philip Dacey Endorsement of “Eye of the Beholder”

The poetry of Scott Owens traces the contours of loss and hope, possibility and renewal. A heartfelt quality or soulfulness, best defined as the determination to speak honestly and courageously of important personal matters, pervades this book and gives it emotional urgency page after page. Drawn to what he calls “a poetics of excess,” Owens nevertheless embodies Cocteau’s definition of tact–“knowing how far to go in going too far”–while striking a similar balance between long poems and haiku-like or koan-like short ones, which provide a kind of seasoning for the feast of the whole. Especially notable at the book’s center is a love poem Neruda would have been happy to write, the laser-intense “You in the Tomb of My Eyes,” a paean to the night that anchors the surrounding testimonies to a life lived passionately and thoughtfully. Owens knows poetry is a serious business; while various other poets these days might seem caught up in gamesmanship, this poet plays for keeps.
–Philip Dacey, Editor of Strong Measures

Eye of the Beholder is available for a discounted pre-order now on the Main Street Rag (click link). The book is scheduled for release in January 2014.

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Eye of the Beholder Available for Pre-Order

My new book of poems, Eye of the Beholder, is now available for pre-order through Main Street Rag’s new online bookstore. Here is a link that will take you to their listing for the book where you can see the cover art (by Valerie MacEwan), read a few poems from the book and place your order at a $5 discount off the cover price: Eye of the Beholder.

These are poems mostly about love. I wouldn’t call them all love poems, but they are about love in some fashion or another. The book is slated for release in January. Of course I have to sell enough pre-publication copies by then for MSR to move forward, and if I sell enough sooner, then it will get pushed up in the publication queue. So, help me out by ordering a copy now. I will be doing a number of readings starting in February and will be glad to sign previously bought copies then.

Mostly, I hope you’ll take a look at the website, read the sample poems, and enjoy them enough that you want to read more.

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