"Who says my poems are poems?
My poems are not poems.
When you know that my poems are not poems,
then we can speak of poetry."
--Ryokan (1758-1831), Zen hermit-poet
Born into a family of artists, clergy, cowboys, fly fishermen, and poets, Owen studied for a decade with a New Mexican wise woman and wilderness guide who ushered him through a “curriculum” of meditation, dream-tracking, poem-incubation, and earth-spirit work in the mountains, forests, and arroyos of Colorado and New Mexico.
Influenced by the Chan (Zen)/Daoist hermit-poet tradition, American eco-poetry, and the wider human lineage of cross-cultural mystical and shamanic poetry, Owen's poems are shaped by the seasons, diverse landscapes, path-crossings with curanderos and other “travelers,” myth-lines in the deeper strata of ancestral memory, pots of green chile pozole, and sips of tequila and saké. But, more than anything, his poetry is fueled by dreams, which result in a style of poetry he calls a río soñado (dream river).
His poems have been published in literary journals with a contemplative and ecological focus, such as Written River: The Journal of Eco-Poetics and The Wayfarer.
In the Spring of 2017, Owen's first book of poetry, The School of Soft-Attention, was selected as the winner of the 2017 Homebound Publications Poetry Prize. The School of Soft-Attention will be published by Homebound Publications and available for purchase in September 2018.
He is working on a second book of poetry.