What are you working on right now, Catherine Owen?

A shit-ton of things it seems. I hate being bored. Life is brief.

Right now I’m about to head out on the road to tour my book, Trobairitz, from Anvil Press, a collection of poems that fuse medieval forms with my experience of the metal world, mostly from 2002-2009. Currently, I have three books of poems on the go on loss, freaks and the Fraser River, one collection of “sliver fiction” called The Day of the Dead, another one of essays/memoirs surrounding manifestations of grief in art, nature, travel, literature.

I’m revising a book called The Other 23 & a Half Hours: what poets do when they aren’t writing poems, a non-fiction collage-like handbook for newer poets featuring a slew of Canadian poets talking on various aspects like translation, running a reading series and working in uncommon jobs.
It will be out in 2014 from Wolsak & Wynn.

The novella I wrote, Wake, is currently hanging about waiting for a miracle. Got a few kids’ books on the go with a couple of artists too about cats, moths and matadors of shadows. And I’m in the initial stages of thinking through the compilation of a poetry anthology called The Outsider’s Guide to Beauty.

For collaborative projects, over the past year, Warren Dean Fulton & I have been burgeoning a beast we’ve named Above & Beyond Productions. We made a Vancouver Poets’ calendar, a poetry film, and thus far, three chapbooks, including a kids’ book, The Truck Driving Princess. I’m also editing
Joe Rosenblatt’s manuscript called Snake City.

In relation to multimedia stuff — two collaborations with visual artists, one with Sydney Lancaster called NEST and another with Paul Saturley that we’ve dubbed Pandemonium. Also planning a exhibit of art/artifacts by a few Canadian poets dealing with grief. It’s known as Visualelegies and will feature photos, assemblages and ephemera from the lost.

Musically, I’m in a bit of a limbo. Since the demise of Inhuman/Helgrind with my partner Chris Matzigkeit’s death, I’ve been working mostly solo on my blackened doom band Medea. Also been collaborating with a guitarist on experimental poemsongs in the duo The Lyrical Outlaws. But that recently fell apart. As so much tends to, rapidly or eventually. Fortunately there are always subsequent manifestations, renewed hopes.

Catherine Owen is a Vancouver poet, writer, bassist and tutor/editor with two English Literature degrees from SFU. She has been publishing trade books since 1998 and as of 2011 has eight titles out of poetry, one of epistles and an upcoming collection of prose essays/memoirs. Her presses include: Exile Editions, Wolsak & Wynn, Anvil Press, Mansfield Press and Black Moss.

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