A moving, lyrical, and original collection from an award-winning poet
Designated Mourner is a collection of elegies for an unconventional spouse and artistic collaborator, lost to addiction at a young age. These poems keen on the page, tracing tenderness and sorrow while raging against his night.
Well crafted and intimate, Designated Mourner engages with a range of forms. It is timely as grief is a misunderstood and often shunned emotion in North American society, as is drug addiction. The poems allow emotion while never losing their aural power.
"Grief is a challenging subject at the best of times, but Owen manages to deftly sidestep the temptations to idealize or to wallow. Presented utterly without irony, these poems are tender and sweet, yet never become cloying…Designated Mourner is raw emotion beautifully wrought, and I wept openly as I read." —Broken Pencil
"In the vein of Carol Ann Duffy's Raptures, Designated Mourner tenderly surrenders Owen's emotions and vulnerability to the page." — Quill and Quire
"In her capable poetic hands — Owen is author of nine books of verse and criticism — emotions find crystalline expression and these pieces attain indelible life for their deft separating of what is truly important from the emotional chaff that occupies a typical life." — Vancouver Sun