HICKORY — Redhawk Publishing Co. has published local poet Scott Owens’ newest collection of poetry, “Sky Full of Stars and Dreaming.”
Owens, a poetry professor at Lenoir-Rhyne University, has taught in a variety of settings for nearly 30 years. He also is the owner of Taste Full Beans Coffeehouse in downtown Hickory.
He published his first book, “The Persistence of Faith,” nearly 30 years ago. Since then, he has published more than 1,400 poems and articles on poetry in journals, books and anthologies around the world, won numerous awards for his work, taught several dozen workshops on writing in schools, conferences and libraries, given more than 200 readings of his work, judged numerous poetry competitions and edited four different literary magazines.
Owens explained that the poems in “Sky Full of Stars and Dreaming” were mostly written in the last year or two and are among his most positive and upbeat poems. He said the focus of the book is on the things that sustain us in times of trouble: love, family, work, nature and attitude. The poems include a variety of styles ranging from sonnet variations and haiku to prose poems and invented forms.
“These poems pause everyday moments and a wide range of life experiences for the reader to see more fully,” said fellow poet, Malaika King Albrecht, president of the North Carolina Poetry Society. “They celebrate survivors and inspire a gratitude for the ability to not only survive, but to thrive. They sing of a life well-lived and well-observed.”
Robert Lee Brewer, editor of “Poet’s Market,” agreed.
“Owens shares a world filled with life and possibility, even during a pandemic,” Brewer said. “Owens reminds us that even during our moments of greatest challenge, we’re still surrounded by hope, beauty and so much life.”
Owens earned a bachelor of arts in English with a minor in education at Ohio University, where he studied with novelist Daniel Keyes and poet Paul Nelson, according to his biography. He earned a master’s degree in English at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, studying with Robin Hemley, Robert Waters Grey and Christopher Davis. He also earned a master of fine arts in creative writing from the University of North Carolina Greensboro, studying under Fred Chappell and Stuart Dischell.
He founded the reading series Poetry Hickory and the University Community Poetry Series. He served as founding editor of “234,” editor of the “Wild Goose Poetry Review” and associate editor of “Southern Poetry Review.” He authored the poetry column, “Musings,” published in “Outlook.” He has served as vice president of the Poetry Council of North Carolina and the North Carolina Poetry Society, and founded “The Art of Poetry” at the Hickory Museum of Art.
Owens’ poems have been nominated for nine Pushcart Prizes and seven Best of the Net Awards, and received awards from the Academy of American Poets, the North Carolina Poetry Society, the Poetry Society of South Carolina, the Next Generation Indie Awards and the North Carolina Writer’s Network.
“Sky Full of Stars and Dreaming” is available for purchase at Taste Full Beans Coffeehouse, online at redhawkpublications.company.site and through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.