Nationally published poet Scott Owens will make his third appearance at Poetry Lincolnton on Friday at the Lincoln Cultural Center.
Owens, born and raised in the tiny town of Greenwood, S.C., currently resides in Hickory, teaching classes in both English and creative writing for the last five years at Catawba Valley Community College.
“I love the autonomy and feeling like Iâ€™m making a difference,” he said of teaching.
While Owens, vice president of the North Carolina Poetry Council, would rather not take the stage and perform in front of a crowd Friday night, he said itâ€™s more about the material heâ€™s presenting than his reservations.
“Itâ€™s more about poetry than the performance,” he said.
Although Owens was crafting work at an early age, it wasnâ€™t until 1985, at the age of 22, that his poetry was finally shared with the world.
His work was published in Southern Poetry Review, perhaps the perfect publication for Owensâ€™ Southern-root themes.
His work additionally focuses on heavier themes such as religion and the long-term effects of child abuse, a topic Owens knows all too well.
“I suffered child abuse myself, and itâ€™s been something that Iâ€™ve had to work with my whole life to overcome,” he said.
He hopes that through his poetry others can “live more authentic lives” in a demanding society.
“Itâ€™s easy for us to forget certain basic elements of being human beings in this sort of modern, industrialized â€¦ world,” he said, “and poetry reminds us how important little things are and how tightly-connected so many things are.”
He admires poetry for what he calls its “compression of experience,” the way in which it can break down a complex topic for the reader.
“Poetry has a way of taking a complicated and long-term experience and reducing it to something that can be felt and enjoyed,” he said.
With more than 1,000 published writings and nine collections of poetry penned, a large number of which have been featured in well-known journals such as the Georgia Review, North American Review and Poetry East, Owens has proven that heâ€™s more than just a good writer; heâ€™s a seasoned veteran of the poetry world.
For the last four years, heâ€™s served as editor of Wild Goose Poetry Review. In addition he founded Poetry Hickory five years ago and currently writes for 234, an online non-fiction journal thatâ€™s just under a year old.
His 10th collection of poetry, Shadows Trail Them Home, will be released in October.
Scott Owens is scheduled to perform 7 p.m. Friday at the Lincoln Cultural Center.
For more information about his life and poetry, visit scottowenspoet.com or scottowensmusings.blogspot.com.