sunday best #19: Jan Owen

Poems 1980-2008
Jan Owen
John Leonard Press, 2008

Tony Linde says:

My recommendation is the poetry of Jan Owen. I’d not come across her before a trip to Australia and New Zealand last winter. Whenever I’m there, I look out for literature, especially poetry, published there that we don’t get over here. This time, I went into Dymock’s in Adelaide (my home town) and asked the staff about Aussie poets. A couple of them enthusiastically walked me around the well-stocked shelves, loading me up with their favourites. Jan Owen was recommended by both and I can see why. I was even happier to find she was from and still lives in Adelaide. I bought the collection Poems, 1980-2008 (or see the publisher’s site with sample poems, also read/hear some at the Poetry Archive) but I have no idea how to get it in the UK (btw, I ended up buying half a dozen books and spending $100-ish so, be warned about Dymock’s poetry enthusiasts).

Her poems remind me of Peter Porter but, I don’t know, more female, maybe, certainly more humorous, easier to read but with that same depth of feeling for their subject and for the words themselves. I’m not doing the poems justice. Get this volume if you can.

Tony Linde
“Poems 1980-2008” is recommended by Tony Linde (see also his six things.)
  • First published: 2008
  • Current availability: Available via fishpond

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