Book Cover: Dear Ghost,, Catherine Owen

Dear Ghost,

Catherine Owen
  • $18.00

April 25, 2017
104 pages | ISBN 978-1-928088-31-8

*Winner of the 2017 Alcuin Society's Book Design Awards for Poetry*
*Shortlisted for the Pat Lowther Memorial Award*

In Dear Ghost, Owen returns to the kooky imagery and humorous style she last visited with her award-winning collection Frenzy. These poems plumb the depths of the psyche’s surrealities, entering a dreamlike realm where meaning is found in the nonsensical, the utterly human and the everyday. Owen gathers her subjects from her daily life – touching on work, sex, acquaintances and art – and imbues them with the extraordinary quirks and uncertainties that only language can create. The effects are dizzying.

Reviews | Interviews | Excerpt | About the Author | Other Titles


Power of the Poets (Phil R., Calgary Public Library, 11/04/2018)
"[Dear Ghost,] feels hazily familiar, yet keeps the reader guessing at every turn. This BC poet really knows how to take light matter and make it both heavy and dark."

A Review of Catherine Owen's Dear Ghost, (Madeline Bassnett, The Rusty Toque, 30/11/2017)
"This isn’t about dismissing the horror. It’s in the imitation, Owen suggests, that we confront that 'incomprehensible difference between making art and war.'"

Today's Book of Poetry: Dear Ghost, (Michael Dennis, Today's Book of Poetry, 10/10/2017)
"Owen doesn't seem to be able to write a boring/bad poem. She catalogues her hopes, dreams, failures and success but never without suitable acoutremont, Owen's poems always come dressed for the dance. It's not what Owen talks about but how."

Scorching Air (Myra Bloom, Canadian Literature, Autumn 2017)
"The comma in Owen’s title Dear Ghost, registers the phrase’s provenance in a line by the late great John Ashbery, the book’s patron saint: 'Dear ghost, what shelter / in the noonday crowd?' Though its final section explicitly comprises 'Poems that veer into the freakish and may echo John Ashbery,' the latter’s influence can be felt in the peripatetic, expressionist qualities of the collection as a whole."

Review (Liz Worth, Quill & Quire, 01/04/2017)
"Owen writes down to the bone, laying out plain and simple facts and leaving her readers to feel their way through the work. At times the subject matter seems starkly ordinary, yet there is a weight to the delivery that makes the poems seem much more momentous."


Vancouver brain drain Edmonton’s gain (Mike Ross,, 15/09/2018)
Catherine is interviewed about why she moved from Vancouver to Edmonton.

Guest Interview: Catherine Owen on "Dear Ghost," (Brandon Wnuk, Roll of Nickels, 04/06/2018)
"My views on poetry are regularly evolving and shifting, growing deeper as I continue to expand my circle of texts and experiences. When I was a younger poet, I loved the simple lyric more than anything. It provided me with a sense of possibility I think, control and resolution. Then, likely through my work on the poet Robinson Jeffers throughout my second book, The Wrecks of Eden, and my Masters thesis, I became hungry for epics. But I still wasn't ready for Ashbery's surreal ironies or non-sequiturial leaps."


Click here to read an excerpt from Dear Ghost.

About the Author

Catherine Owen is the author of ten collections of poetry and three of prose, including her compilation of interviews on writing called The Other 23 & a Half Hours: Or Everything You Wanted to Know that Your MFA Didn’t Teach You (Wolsak & Wynn, 2015) and her short story collection, The Day of the Dead (Caitlin Press, 2016). Her work has been nominated for awards, toured Canada eight times and appeared in anthologies, as well as translations. She has been employed by both the Locations and the Props department in TV land, plays metal bass and has two cats: Solstice and Equinox.

Other Titles by this Author

Locations of Grief: An Emotional Geography (2020)

The Other 23 & a Half Hours: Or Everything You Wanted to Know that Your MFA Didn't Teach You (2015)

Catalysts: Confrontations with the muse (2012)

Seeing Lessons (2010)

Shall: ghazals (2006)

The Wrecks of Eden (2001)

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