Seeing Lessons

Seeing Lessons

Catherine Owen
  • $17.00

September 2010
96 pages | ISBN 978-1-894987-48-6

Mattie Gunterman (1872–1945) is a fascinating character, capable of walking from Seattle to Beaton, BC, running a full camp-kitchen, caring for her children and taking fascinating portraits of a British Columbia that has all but vanished, both the people and the trees. In thoughtful and elegantly written poems, Catherine Owen traces the path of this remarkable woman, contrasting both modern life and the modern environment with what Mattie would have encountered. Part biography, part environmental elegy, Seeing Lessons leaves readers seeing the world in a different light.


Seeing Lessons (Ian Devenney, Alternatives Journal, 13/02/2012)
“Catherine Owen’s book of poetry, Seeing Lessons, demonstrates the power of both optical and linguistic imagery to capture the past and show us the present with new eyes.”

Re-voicing the Dead (M. Travis Lane, The Fiddlehead, 25/10/2011)
“My favourite poem in Seeing Lessons is the first, ‘Dislodging Socrates,’...How I wish I had written that!”

Review (Andrea Taylor,, 31/08/2011)

reading lessons, possibly (Barbara Bruederlin, Bad Tempered Zombie, 09/02/2011)
"But although I was forced by my own shortcomings to read the poems at a snail's pace, I can recommend this book to anyone with an interest i poetry of photography or Canadian history or women's studies."

Review (Laura Cameron, Claudine Gélinas-Faucher and Renaud Rousse, The Bull Calf, 01/01/2011)
"She has a beautiful way of putting language together and she has a sense of how to narrate a story."


Read an excerpt from Seeing Lessons.

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)

Dear Ghost, (2017)

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)

Shall: ghazals (2006)

The Wrecks of Eden (2001)

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