Owen Lowery

Otherwise Unchanged

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The poems in Owen Lowery's first collection speak in a range of voices, offer glimpses into many lives and many worlds. At the same time, we hear in all of them Lowery's own voice. Incorporating elements from English, Welsh, Hebrew, Arabic, Japanese and Italian poetic traditions, he develops form deftly, giving his work a beautiful, risky movement and musicality. Many of his poems pay tribute to poets writing in the face of war: he enters the worlds of Paul Celan, Keith Douglas, Alun Lewis, Edward Thomas, and – in a powerful sequence based on If This Is a Man – Primo Levi. Other poems are more directly personal, the poet's confessions both wry and tender: 'Your trademark switching the light on / from the bottom of the stairs / wakes the open secret of his / thank you prayer.' The poet was a British Judo champion but suffered a spinal injury in 1987, as a result of which he is now a ventilator-dependent C2-level tetraplegic. With Otherwise Unchanged, Owen Lowery embarks on a momentous and moving journey.
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70 printed pages
Original publication
2013

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