Tag Archives: Scott Owens

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?


To Be Like Poems

Here is a poem that was published in another of my favorite online places, Vox Poetica, back in 2011. It was a little different then. Here is the link to its appearance in Annmarie Lockhart’s lovely daily poem blog.

To Be Like Poems

There is something about the way
a poem sits on a page surrounded
by so much white space, the stanzas boldly
declaring their independence, the lines,

rarely reaching the margin, yet
taking themselves so seriously,
believing they deserve to be broken,
set apart, spoken in single,

emphatic expulsions of breath, the words
carefully chosen for sound, denotation,
connotation, association, intentionally placed,
measured, juxtaposed, the crisp

black curls and lines of letters
staunchly denying the oppression of the void,
crush of prose, even a title
given to somewhere between 5 words,

the shortest decent poem I’ve ever
read, and a couple hundred,
sometimes even a byline for what
might only be a single sentence

that makes me think there might be hope
for us all if we could learn to be
like poems, vital, connected, leaning
into the moment a little harder.

Pirene’s Fountain

Here is a link to two poems of mine, “Thirteen Ways of Direction” and “Thirteen Ways of Wonder”, published in this April’s issue of Pirene’s Fountain, one of my favorite online journals. Ami Kaye, Lark Timmons, and the other editors there do a great job. They have used my work quite a bit, including an interview with Lark in this same issue (Link); another interview with Tony Walbran last year (link); a wonderful showcase last year (link); and poems in issues each of the last six years. Their final online issue, due out in October, will also have two more of my poems as well.

4 Poems & A Party

My poem “Used” has been chosen for the August Poetry in Plain Sight program in Winston-Salem along with poems by Ross White, Joe Morris, and LeeAnn Patrick. The poems will be printed on posters and placed around Winston-Salem. Their website says they will be in sixteen shop windows throughout Winston-Salem’s Arts and Entertainment District, but they also have directions for how to get the posters displayed “in your office,” so perhaps they will be in more than 16 shop windows. Let me know if you see one of them.

To kick off the month, they will hold 4 Poems & A Party at Barnhill’s Books at 1:00 on Aug 3. I’ll be there and will read “Used” and a couple of other poems as well. Hopefully the other poets for August will be there too, and I hope you’ll be able to join us. Here is a link to the Poetry in Plain Sight website: Poetry in Plain Sight