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Poetry Canadian


by (author) Catherine Owen

Anvil Press Publishers
Initial publish date
Oct 2012
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2012
    List Price

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 16
  • Grade: 11


Twenty-first century metalheads; twelfth century troubadours and their female counterparts, the trobairitz- what could they possibly have in common? The creation of an often misunderstood and at times reviled genre for one; for another, a kin preoccupation with the questioning of structures set up by class, gender, and religion.

"Describing metal fans as "raw birds, eyes banged out of their heads," Owen's loving scorn allows her to walk a fine line between paying homage to the subculture and dissecting its darkness." - Winnipeg Free Press

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

Librarian Reviews


Catherine Owen is an accomplished writer, photographer and bass player in metal bands. In Trobairitz (a trobairitz is a female troubadour), she combines medieval poetic style with heavy metal subject matter, adding a strong feminist bent. The medieval forms used create an interesting juxtaposition with the very modern theme. The structure of the book consists of five parts with the first part made up mostly of “canso” poems, originally courtly love poems. Her very modern theme adds eroticism. Other sections include a variety of styles and centuries, flipping back and forth. The glossary educates the reader in the world of the medieval lyricist.

Owen’s works have been nominated for a number of awards. Frenzy won the Alberta Literary Award in 2010.

Caution: Contains many drug culture references, vulgarities, profanities, sexual terms and sexually suggestive scenes.

Source: The Association of Book Publishers of BC. BC Books for BC Schools. 2013-2014.

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