Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Antony Owen at Snakeskin

The December issue of Snakeskin has two fine poems by Coventry poet Antony Owen – How To Find The Falkland Islands, and The Bombing of Beautiful Birds. The latter, you might notice, is 'after Matt Merritt, and I can only say that I'm proud and humbled to have in any way provided any spark of inspiration.

Much of Antony's work deals with war and its effects on both civilians, and the participants, and particularly how the latter are too often left to deal with their own trauma when they return home. I especially like those final two stanzas of the Falklands poem, but there's so much to like there.

You can read more about Antony's work as a poet (and peace activist) here – as you'll see, he was shortlisted for the Ted Hughes Award for his most recent collection, The Nagasaki Elder.

A few years back, I was lucky enough to visit first the Falklands, and then Argentina, for work, in the space of 12 months. What struck me in both places was that, whenever the 1982 war was mentioned, it was not in terms of anger, or ongoing hostility, but simply with a deep sadness.