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Poems in Response to Works by Paula Rego
Categories: 20th Century, 21st Century, Art, Portuguese, Women
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Paperback (128 pages)
(Pub. Jan 2015)
The right hand resting on her throat
affects the nervous habit of a speaker
for whom the words required are suddenly remote,
for all the prepping she did with the speech
and the mirror the night before...
from ‘Snow White Swallows the Poisoned Apple’
Supported through the Arts Council's public funding: Grants for the Arts
As Deryn Rees-Jones writes in her foreword, one of the most striking elements of Paula Rego’s art is her ability to hint at implied narratives, to dramatise the ‘pause between feeling and action, between knowing and not knowing’. Into this pause, Owen Lowery inserts his own poetic responses to Rego’s works. Drawing on the often disturbing themes of Rego’s works – power, violence, the body at its most vulnerable – Lowery creates poems that both interpret the visual and move away from it into new narratives. Rego Retold is a fascinating exploration of the interplay of word and image; it is also a poet’s personal tribute to one of the most significant artists of our time.
'These poems become hypnotic, almost taking the place of the curiosity normally felt when looking at a painting, because they so boldly answer our questions, even our unasked questions.' - Peter Carpenter, The North Praise for Owen Lowery These are poems of hope and survival against almost unimaginable odds. Following a car crash and a near-death experience in February 2020, Owen Lowery's The Crash Wake presents the latest chapter in his extraordinary and moving life journey.In this unique personal testament, we discover an undauntable and indomitable spirit, as Lowery unflinchingly faces questions such as 'which of us to save / and let go, weigh us all, like snowfall'. In his awareness of the fragility and preciousness of all life, despite and through pain, and by celebrating both the minutiae of experience and the prevailing spirits of personal love and creative energy, Lowery reveals incomparably intimate and detailed insights into the meaning of human dignity, courage and heroism.
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