Eyewear Classics

The Offhand Angel


Jan Owen

Jan Owen writes of childhood and nature, of relationships, travel, art and science. Many poems in The Offhand Angel shuttle between widely differing perspectives: the local and the exotic, the cosmic and the microcosmic, the physical and the metaphysical. A sense of transience and loss is balanced by the sensuousness and musicality of her work, and by a driving curiosity about the world.

Jan Owen is an award-winning Australian poet and translator who has published six books of verse and a volume of translations from Baudelaire’s Les Fleurs du Mal. She has been a resident at the Cité International des Arts in Paris and was a Fellow at Hawthornden Castle in 2009.

I have been enjoying Jan Owen’s poetry for many years: each collection is as fresh and sparkling as the last, although often with a different focus. Whatever the subject, her work is always readable, rich in sensory impressions, and full of vivid life. — Fleur Adcock

Witty and serious by turns, often at her most serious when wittiest, Jan Owen has developed a style that can accommodate a great variety of subjects, from the intensely personal to the wholly public. Formally adventurous and linguistically adroit, her work has a sureness of touch and a lovely, deft understanding of the sense of sound given to only the truest poets. — John Lucas

Jan Owen’s pen is the point-shoe of a princess of language, and enchants every subject she summons to her dance. — Les Murray

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