Monday, March 3, 2014

Creating a Poetry Book - hard work but seems easy for Scott Owens

I am in process of putting together a second poetry chapbook, this one with the theme of love and loss. I asked my friend, Maren Mitchell, author of Beat Chronic Pain, an Insider’s Guide, and a well-published poet, to look at my collection and give me her thoughts on the poems I had chosen.
I think that judging your own poems for a book is the hardest thing! She made me realize that all the poems can’t be downers, but that I must use some upbeat work as well. She talked about the ending, the last poem in the book.

In selecting poems for a manuscript, they should transition well, one into the next. According to NancySimpson who helped me with my first chapbook, Now Might as Well be Then, published by Finishing Line Press in 2009, even the repetition of a word in the next poem helps keep the story moving along.
Poet Scott Owens

Recently I enjoyed reading Scott Owens’ latest poetry collection, The Eye of the Beholder. Never have I read so many poems that made me feel as deeply as Scott’s words did. The entire book is filled with love – finding love, keeping love, being amazed at love, losing love. I felt pain and sadness and I felt warmth and joy. His honesty in portraying his desire for his wife; his openness in showing how two lovers can live on and on, even as time changes them physically, but does not dim his adoration for her. What I really like about Scott’s poetry is that I understand what he means to communicate, at least what he tells me in his work, although you might relate in an entirely different way.

In the poem, Since You Went Away, I relate to the abject loneliness expressed in these words:
“I try to sleep diagonally across the bed
to use all the space I always claimed to be   
in short supply, but in the morning
I’m crowded to one side again,
my right arm thrown across the empty
pillow…

Friends ask me if I miss you, what I do without you.
I tell them I’m fine. But I’m tired
of going places and not knowing why,
and I’m tired of this space
beside me growing, wanting to be filled. 

Scott Owens will teach a workshop at Writers Circle studio September 13. He will read at Writers Night out that evening. Check out our schedule page for more information. 

4 comments:

Tipper said...

Fantastic poem by Scott! And I can't wait to read your new poetry book-because I dearly loved the last one : )

Anonymous said...

As always, Glenda, there is real value in the way you introduced Scott Owens' latest accomplishment.
You are correct in stating all the poems cannot be downers and that even the use one word from the previous poem in the next poem holds the whole work together. I have a tough time enjoying writing or music without a "thread" to hold the work together.

Glenda Beall said...

Thank you, Tipper for your kind words about my poetry chapbook. I hope this one is well received when I finally get it out.
Glad you liked the excerpt from Scott's poem. You can order his book from Main Street Rag or from him.

Glenda Beall said...

Thank you, Anonymous. I appreciate your comment.