By Catherine Owen
Photographs by Karen Moe
Rooted in the back alleys, squats and psychiatric wards of contemporary Vancouver and Montreal, these unyielding poems enter the intersecting tensions and intensities in characters such as Mike, a panhandler on Vancouver's Commercial Drive, Matthew, a runaway punk, and Dara, ... Read more
Rooted in the back alleys, squats and psychiatric wards of contemporary Vancouver and Montreal, these unyielding poems enter the intersecting tensions and intensities in characters such as Mike, a panhandler on Vancouver's Commercial Drive, Matthew, a runaway punk, and Dara, a single mother. 'Cusp''s central sequence, however, concerns the tragic life and death of Frank Bonneville, a schizophrenic and drug-addicted artist who became Ms. Owen's muse between their 2001 meeting and his 2003 suicide. Complemented by Karen Moe's haunting photographs of Vancouver's neglected spaces and rejected objects, 'Cusp/detritus' is a testimony to an obsession with the lost. "It is intentionally unsettling, disturbing, sad, and you cannot deny it, a celebration of a life. " - Prairie Fire
Catherine Owen lives in New Westminster, BC. She is the author of ten collections of poetry, among them, Designated Mourner (ECW, 2014), Trobairitz (Anvil Press 2012), Seeing Lessons (Wolsak & Wynn 2010) and Frenzy (Anvil Press 2009). Her poems are included in several recent anthologies such as Forcefield: 77 Women Poets of BC (Mothertongue Press, 2013) and This Place a Stranger: Canadian Women Travelling Alone (Caitlin Press, 2014). Stories have appeared in Urban Graffiti, Memwear Magazine, Lit N Image (US) and Toronto Quarterly. Her collection of memoirs and essays is called Catalysts: Confrontations with the Muse (W & W, 2012). Frenzy won the Alberta Book Prize and other collections have been nominated for the BC Book Prize, ReLit, the CBC Prize, and the George Ryga Award. In 2015, Wolsak & Wynn published her compendium on the practices of writing called The Other 23 and a Half Hours or Everything You Wanted to Know That Your MFA Didn’t Teach You. She works in TV, plays metal bass and blogs at Marrow Reviews.