scott-owensHickory – Between the two of them, Scott Owens and Tim Peeler have published nearly 30 books over their 20+ year careers. The two prolific Hickory poets will be the featured writers at the December 13 Poetry Hickory at Taste Full Beans Coffeehouse in downtown Hickory.

Lenoir Rhyne University Professor, editor of “Wild Goose Poetry Review,” and author of 14 collections of poetry, Scott Owens has been published in “Poets Market” and read on NPR by Garrison Keillor. His work has received awards  from the Academy of American Poets, the Pushcart Prize Anthology, the NC Poetry Society, the Poetry Society of SC, the Indie Lit Award, and Best of the Net.

Owens’ newest book is “Down to Sleep.” Asheville poet, and editor of the “Asheville Poetry Review,” Keith Flynn, says of the book: “These poems are sharp-edged, cutting through the dust and worn grooves of our everyday routines with dynamism and humanity. Like a script for a rainbow, these lines constantly teeter between the poet’s waking life and his dream state.”

Flynn continues, “There is a scene in Hitchcock’s 1951 film, ‘Strangers on a Train,’ in which Robert Walker pops a child’s balloon at a fair with his cigarette. These poems operate in just the opposite manner, locating the toxic nature an nightmares of a broken life and turning the black smoke into balloons.”

Owens is the founder of Poetry Hickory and co-owner of Taste Full Beans.

tim-peelerAuthor of fourteen books, including a dozen collections of poetry and several books on baseball, Tim Peeler is a past winner of the Jim Harrison Award for contributions to baseball literature, and a 2-time  Casey Award Finalist (baseball book of the year) and a finalist for the SIBA Award.

Peeler’s newest book, “Wild in the Strike Zone,” from Rank Stranger Press, combines his love of baseball and poetry. Jordan Makant says of the collection: “While Wild in the Strike Zone opens the reader to the idea of the collection being about baseball, it also makes clear that Peeler is using baseball to reach for something even more universal. As the final lines of the final poem says, ‘If it all must end, let the old curses / soar through the night forever.’

Peeler lives with his wife, Penny, in Hickory, where he directs the academic assistance programs at Catawba Valley Community College.

Poetry Hickory is in its tenth year of monthly poetry readings. All readings are free and open to the public. The featured readers will begin at 7:00 and will be followed by an open mic. For more information, contact Scott Owens at Taste Full Beans Coffeehouse (828) 325-0108. www.ncpoetrysociety.org

Photo: Poet Scott Owens and Poet Tim Peeler