Owen Lowery

Former British Judo champion Owen Lowery received a spinal injury while competing in a tournament, and is now a tetraplegic. He has a PhD on the work of Keith Douglas. His poetry has appeared in Stand, PN Review, Jewish Quarterly, the Independent, the Times, and the Guardian. Owen’s first major collection, Otherwise Unchanged, was published in December 2012 by Carcanet Press, while his second, Rego Retold, was published in January 2015, and celebrates the work of Dame Paula Rego. Owen has performed his work all across the UK, including at London’s Southbank Centre, Belfast’s Lyric Theatre, the Salisbury Arts Festival, the Arvon Centre at Hebden Bridge, the Little Theatre in Nairn, on the BBC World Service, and in the northwest of England, where he now lives with his wife, Jayne.


Border Crossings »

Reading: Martin MacIntyre, Owen Lowery

Thu 8 March | 14:15 - 15:15 | £4.50/£3.50 | The Town Hall, Queens Gardens, Supper Room

Poetry Cafe: Festival Plenary »

Help us to wrap up StAnza 2018

Sun 11 March | 20:00 - 21:30 | £5.00/£4.00 | The Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Studio Theatre


Two chairs


Captured against the mauve ripples
the two chairs are ours to complete
any time, poised
between wishes left
open for us, and the sun’s last
flourish. Our hands mesh
endurance, hold
the thought on which so much depends

for us. Our voices blend with those
of morning and evening boats
never caught out
by sudden changes,
or any difference more than
the next wave. Answers
forget questions
ever mattered here. We can sip

long glasses, tilt ice, balance lights
at a distance from their harbours
and hotels. Birds
have never felt more
like separated souls. Dust turns
everything else
its own colour
as we watch, learning the patience

of the hoofed gods. They make their way
down to the sand, settle knowing
their own safety
like their horned shadows
has a rhythm lost on the world
beyond. The two chairs
take us out past
the point where our patterns converge.

Owen Lowery