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Maureen Owen reads from Edges of Water

On Saturday, April 26, Maureen was in town for the panel discussion on collaborative creation via the artwork of George Schneeman that was on display at Poets House, and then she read at Zinc Bar on Sunday. That is where I got her new book, Edges of Water published by Chax Press. It has a painting by Elizabeth Murray on the cover, and inside there are two sonnets dedicated to Elizabeth too; the whole book in fact is dedicated to her. It is a painterly book full of forms and colors, abstract apparitions appearing solidly before us, taking on flesh and bones, thought’s shapes on the page. Look and you will see. I was in a poetry workshop led my Maureen at Saint Mark’s when I first got to New York many years ago, a very productive workshop, I might add, because according to Maureen, all you had to do was open your eyes and look at your city, your street, the pictures in a book; inspiration is always there; and all you have to do is look. Once, I’d written a word I thought existed, but it didn’t; I’d made it up. “You’re a poet,” Maureen said. “Of course you can make words up.” You can hear Maureen taking her own advice in the poem below dedicated to Lorine Niedecker when she writes “throwed in the leaves” instead of “thrown.” In a poem by Maureen sound can bring its own unexpected images and its own form, seagulls long before we ever see the sea.

@ Poets House. Anne Waldman, Alice Notley and Maureen Owen. April 26, 2014.

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