Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Literary Criticism Canadian

Other 23 & a Half Hours, The

Or Everything You Wanted to Know that Your MFA Didn't Teach You

by (author) Catherine Owen

Wolsak and Wynn Publishers Ltd.
Initial publish date
May 2015
Canadian, Canadian
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    May 2015
    List Price

Add it to your shelf

Where to buy it


It might be counterintuitive, but Catherine Owen believes being a writer involves much more than writing. In this provocative book she examines the moving parts of the literary community and explains what makes it tick. Starting with reading, which Owen believes is a fundamental part of being a writer, she considers activities such as reviewing, translating, hosting radio shows and even running small presses. With over sixty interviews as well as her own experiences to draw on, Owen sketches a compelling picture of what a literary life can be. Readers will come away with a new appreciation for the dynamism of the Canadian literary scene and the inspiration to contribute to it.

About the author

Catherine Owen lives in New Westminster, BC. She is the author of ten collections of poetry, among them Designated Mourner (ECW, 2014), Trobairitz (Anvil Press 2012), Seeing Lessons (Wolsak & Wynn 2010) and Frenzy (Anvil Press 2009). Her poems are included in several recent anthologies such as Forcefield: 77 Women Poets of BC (Mothertongue Press, 2013) and This Place a Stranger: Canadian Women Travelling Alone (Caitlin Press, 2014). Stories have appeared in Urban Graffiti, Memwear Magazine, Lit N Image (US) and Toronto Quarterly. Her collection of memoirs and essays is called Catalysts: Confrontations with the Muse (W & W, 2012). Frenzy won the Alberta Book Prize and other collections have been nominated for the BC Book Prize, ReLit, the CBC Prize, and the George Ryga Award. In 2015, Wolsak & Wynn published her compendium on the practices of writing called The Other 23 and a Half Hours or Everything You Wanted to Know That Your MFA Didn’t Teach You. She works in TV, plays metal bass and blogs at Marrow Reviews.

Catherine Owen's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"?it's immensely refreshing that she subverts the discourse about the status of poetry as a popular culture failure and celebrates the possibilties inherit in broadening and hybridizing the poet's practice." - Events: Poetry and Prose

"Engaging, informative, concise, evocative — Catherine Owen's The Other 23 & a Half Hours is a clear, keen contemporary snapshot of Canada's vibrant poetry community. A must read for any new, emerging poet." - Urban Graffiti

"The book offers no program for a career in poetry, making the title a somewhat tongue-in-cheek jab at professionalized poetry. At the Victoria, BC event in promotion of her book, in July of this year, Owen told the audience that the book grew out of her frustration with the pressure young poets feel to enter academia." - The Bull Calf

Other titles by Catherine Owen