Carcanet Press Logo
Quote of the Day
Your list has always been interesting, idiosyncratic, imaginative and your translations [...] have been a source of pleasure to me.
Al Alvarez
Order by 13th December to receive books in time for Christmas (UK orders, standard shipping). Non-UK orders should be placed by 13th December (with courier shipping) to ensure delivery by Christmas. Please also bear in mind that all orders may be subject to postal delays that are beyond our control.

The Crash Wake and other poems

Owen Lowery

Cover of The Crash Wake by Owen Lowery
10% off all versions
Categories: 21st Century, British
Imprint: Northern House
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Available as:
Paperback (160 pages)
(Pub. Oct 2021)
9781800171763
£12.99 £11.69
eBook (EPUB) Needs ADE!
(Pub. Oct 2021)
9781800171770
£10.39 £9.35
Digital access available through Exact Editions
To use the EPUB version, you will need to have Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) installed on your device. You can find out more at https://www.adobe.com/uk/solutions/ebook/digital-editions.html. Please do not purchase this version if you do not have and are not prepared to install, Adobe Digital Editions.
  • Description
  • Author
  • Awards
  • Reviews
  • The Poetry Book Society Winter Wild Card 2021

    In February 2020, ventilated tetraplegic poet Owen Lowery and his wife, Jayne, were travelling to Scotland when their vehicle aquaplaned, spun round on the motorway, hit a barrier, flipped over the barrier and rolled over several times, before coming to rest on its side in a field. Having barely survived, Lowery emerged into a world transformed by the coronavirus, one in which life and death had moved closer. During his months of recovery from three brain bleeds, a shattered right arm, multiple seizures and pulmonary bleeding, Lowery returned to writing poems, many of which address the strangeness, the disorientation, of his situation and that of the world in general. Lowery wrote these poems amidst reports of Government and health initiatives that suggested potential utilitarian sacrifices of 'the vulnerable'. Completed shortly before his death in May 2021, the fear and loss of the vulnerable and the voiceless haunt many of the poems.

    In the 'Crash Wake' sequence, Lowery adopted a twelve-line form. Twelve lines was as long as he could manage to sustain a poem at the time, due to repercussions from his head injury. The form also allowed him to take what Keith Douglas called 'extrospective' snapshots of the new environment in which he found himself: streets empty of people, an Italian village cut off by the army, a train in India killing migrant workers in their sleep. Recovery, nature and love fill the gaps in this changed world. Lowery's final book appreciates afresh landscape and wildlife, family and marriage, the importance and fragility of life.
    Owen Lowery was born in 1968. Formerly a British Judo champion, he suffered a spinal injury while competing and became a ventilator-dependent tetraplegic. He had an MA in Creative Writing from Bolton University, where he also completed his PhD in the extrospective poetry of Keith Douglas. His poetry appeared in Stand, ... read more
    Awards won by Owen Lowery Winner, 2021 The Poetry Book Society Winter Wild Card (The Crash Wake and other poems)
    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.

    Richard Berengarten

    Praise for Owen Lowery '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
Share this...
The Carcanet Blog Rowan Williams: Collected Poems read more John F. Deane: Naming of the Bones read more Vahni Capildeo: Places of Writing read more Jenny Lewis Responds to a Commission for a Poem Against Climate Change for COP26 read more Carcanet Books in the Exact Editions COP26 Virtual Showcase read more John McAuliffe on Owen Lowery's The Crash Wake Poems read more
Find your local bookshop logo
Arts Council Logo
We thank the Arts Council England for their support and assistance in this interactive Project.
This website ©2000-2021 Carcanet Press Ltd