Book Cover: The Other 23 & a Half Hours: Or Everything You Wanted to Know that Your MFA Didn't Teach You, Catherine Owen

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

Catherine Owen
  • $20.00

May 2015
210 pages | ISBN 9781928088004

There’s so much more to being a poet than starving in a garret.

It might be counterintuitive, but Catherine Owen believes being a writer involves much more than writing.  In this provocative book she examines the moving parts of the literary community and explains what makes it tick. Starting with reading, which Owen believes is a fundamental part of being a writer, she considers activities such as reviewing, translating, hosting radio shows and even running small presses. With over sixty interviews as well as her own experiences to draw on, Owen sketches a compelling picture of what a literary life can be. Readers will come away with a new appreciation for the dynamism of the Canadian literary scene and the inspiration to contribute to it.


Review (Leslie Timmins, Events: Poetry and Prose, 01/09/2016)
"It's immensely refreshing that she subverts the discourse about the status of poetry as a popular culture failure and celebrates the possibilties inherit in broadening and hybridizing the poet's practice."

Review (David Eso, The Bull Calf, 02/16/2016)
“The book offers no program for a career in poetry, making the title a somewhat tongue-in-cheek jab at professionalized poetry. At the Victoria, BC event in promotion of her book, in July of this year, Owen told the audience that the book grew out of her frustration with the pressure young poets feel to enter academia.”

Review (Mary Ann Moore, Story Circle Book Review, 02/13/2016)
“Owen approaches her subject with passion, expertly weaving interviews with fifty-eight Canadian poets and a host of other American and international writers into a well-informed book.”

Review (Mary Ann Moore, Vancouver Sun, 07/12/2015)
"Owen expertly and passionately shares interviews with 58 Canadian poets who are engaged with their craft and with community in a myriad of practices."

Review (Mark McCawley, Urban Graffiti, 31/07/2015)
“Engaging, informative, concise, evocative – Catherine Owen’s The Other 23 & a Half Hours is a clear, keen contemporary snapshot of Canada’s vibrant poetry community. A must read for any new, emerging poet.”


On women in publishing and an intersectional feminist booklist (BookNet Canada, 24/01/2018)
Catherine's book makes the list of LPG staff–recommended books for the intersectional feminist.


Read the introduction and the first chapter of The Other 23 & a Half Hours.

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)

Catalysts: Confrontations with the muse (2012)

Seeing Lessons (2010)

Shall: ghazals (2006)

The Wrecks of Eden (2001)

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