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Owen Lowery (1968 - 2021)

Monday, 17 May 2021

Owen Lowery We're saddened to hear of the death of much-loved poet Owen Lowery on Friday 14th May 2021. We've published two of Owen's collections: Otherwise Unchanged in 2010 and Rego Retold in 2015. A third, The Crash Wake Poems is forthcoming in Autumn 2021. Anthony Rudolf writes below:

'Owen Lowery has died. He knew that his fragile body would one day meet an infection which would defeat it, and the day finally arrived. He asked his wife Jayne to thank his friends, which was his way of saying goodbye. He had previously come through many a dangerous moment, including a serious car crash last year. He survived all these years thanks to 1) the extraordinary care and devotion of Jayne; 2) his will-power and determination; and 3) his mission: to write extrospective poetry. This poetry did not contain an ounce of self-pity. There are thousands of poems -- including a poem written every day for Jayne -- and the percentage of really good ones is remarkable. He had neither the time nor interest to select for publication. This was done by close friends, including his publisher Michael Schmidt of Carcanet and Professor Jon Glover (who supervised his PhD on the poetry of Keith Douglas, which was examined by Desmond Graham). You can find the story of his remarkable life online. His books include Rego Retold: Poems in Response to Works by Paula Rego. His new book The Crash Wake Poems is coming out later this year. Owen was an inspiration to all who knew and loved him. We mourn and we celebrate a special life.'

Jon Glover adds: Owen was English Judo Champion while still at school. Before University, he broke his neck while doing a Judo demonstration to earn money for another injured Judo player. He was In hospital in Southport for at least two years but lost all movement below his neck and could only breathe with a ventilator motor and tracheotomy. In recent years he lived near Wigan and Liverpool, where he was a regular at Anfield. He did a BA with the Open University, an MA in Military History at the University of Chester and an MA & PhD in Writing at the University of Bolton. He gave poetry readings at the London South Bank and round the country. He was the subject of a BBC TV programme. His poems have been in journals including PNR and Stand, where some of his car crash poems appeared recently. He was known everywhere for his laughter.

Our deepest thoughts and sympathies are with Owen's family at this time.

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