A Conversation with Maureen Owen and Nick Sturm

Poet and scholar Nick Sturm talks with poet and publisher Maureen Owen about mimeographs, the New York poetry scene in the '70s, and her press, Telephone Books.

In this final episode of Season One of Community Conversations, Nick Sturm, NEH Postdoctoral Fellow in Poetics at Emory's Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry, does a deep dive into small press publishing with Maureen Owen, legendary publisher of Telephone Books and Telephone Magazine in New York from 1969-1983, bringing many then-unknown poets' books into the world, including Susan Howe, Patricia Spears Jones, and Yuki Hartman. The Raymond Danowski Poetry Library, a part of the Rose Library's literary and poetry collections, recently acquired several Telephone books and magazine issues, which completes the collection, and is the only educational institution to house the complete run.

Maureen Owen, former editor and chief of Telephone Magazine and Telephone Books, is the author of Erosion’s Pull from Coffee House Press, a finalist for the Colorado Book Award and the Balcones Poetry Prize. Her title American Rush: Selected Poems was a finalist for the L.A. Times Book Prize and her work AE (Amelia Earhart) was a recipient of the prestigious Before Columbus American Book Award. She has taught at Naropa University, both on campus and in the low-residency MFA Creative Writing Program, in Naropa’s Summer Writing Program, and co-edited Naropa’s on-line zine not enough night through 19 issues. Her newest title Edges of Water is available from Chax Press. She has most recently had work in Blazing Stadium, Positive Magnets, Posit, and The Denver Quarterly. Click here to learn about her  Poets on the Road Tour with Barbara Henning. She can be found reading her work on the PennSound website. Her manuscript titled Let the Heart hold Down the Brakage  Or The Caregiver’s Log is forthcoming from Hanging Loose Press.