(MY DOOMSDAY SAMPLER provides all the brooding and wit its...)
MY DOOMSDAY SAMPLER provides all the brooding and wit its startling title suggests. Not only has Sue Owen explored her apocalyptic vision of the potential changes and threats awaiting the world, whether they be environmental, nuclear, or political, but she also has produced a sampler that recalls the artist's craft, like the woman who takes up her needle to stitch her alphabet and reveals the sharpness of her talent. Owen's sly cipher of twentieth-century dread includes her "Thorn on the Rose," "The Black Pepper," and solitary "Period"--"the dark moon that / no light in my voice / could ever make shine." She reminds us of our smallness and demise: "You are nothing and your / nothingness will not pass" ("Burnt to a Crisp"), but her imagined doomsday, which includes devils, hell, and angels, is also playful, and she searches hard for the ecstasy of this earth. In "Crickets," the insects' "notes rise to the stars, / and float up through the / thick night, as if their / joy itself were the only / light we needed to follow." A beguiling simplicity overlays these fifty poems of dark charm and amusement. Almost every one a uniform seven quatrains, they often take as their departure point familiar figures of speech. But from the proverbial, Owen draws forth arresting motifs of fear and dying light as she examines "this shortness / of breath between birth / and the coming grave," achieving a wickedly wry tone in these final minutes of the millennium.
B.A.in English, University of Wisconsin, 1964. Master of Fine Arts in Writing, Goddard College, 1978. Poet in schools Arts and Humanities Council, Baton Rouge, 1980-1992.
Instructor Louisiana State University, 1992, artist fellowship Louisiana Division of Arts, 1993.
Poet in schools Arts and Humanities Council, Baton Rouge, 1980—1992. Artist fellowship Louisiana Division of Arts, 1993, 2001. Instructor Louisiana State University, 1992—1998, poet-in-residence, 1998—2005.
Member Poetry Society American, Associated Writing Programs, Poets and Writers, Arts and Humanities Council (Baton Rouge).
Married Thomas Charles Owen, August 29, 1964.