Dream Horse Press

The Even Years of Marriage

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Ash Bowen's The Even Years of Marriage

Winner of the 2012 Orphic Poetry Book Prize
ISBN 978-1-935716-30-3

Praise for The Even Years of Marriage


"In The Even Years of Marriage, Ash Bowen bravely explores the difficult mysteries of human relationships. In this powerful book, a new American voice, honest and forthright, probes without flinching the depths of love, hope, disappointment, failure, and regret. These sharply honed poems are like daggers in the heart."
 David Bottoms


"Ash Bowen’s debut poetry collection carries its readers from the bedroom to the heavens in order to define what it means to be alive at this moment. The world seen in The Even Years of Marriage teems with promise while echoing strains of loss, with a constant awareness of personal mythology and universal longing. Bowen’s poems are home to an eerie intimacy where desires mingle and clash, as in 'The Last Known Love Letter of Poseidon,' where the speaker states, 'My power can pull down any stubborn star / my finger chooses but cannot draw you back. / I wonder at the clatter coming from the dock: / Is someone knocking my name from off your boat?' This collection trusts the reader with secrets, and Bowen’s voice inspires our own notions of what makes us whole."
Mary Biddinger


"In The Even Years of Marriage, love is barely enough to hold a relationship together, jealousy is terminal, and movie screens mirror every attempt at affection. Bowen’s gifts with wit and image offer all the things I want from poems—intelligence, self-awareness, humor and empathy. In this book, the radioactive troubles of the universe arrive on earth like collect calls from outer space, reminding us that life requires an extravagant amount of forgiveness, and 'It’s the gravity of Earth that makes letting go so hard.'"Traci Brimhall


  About the Author:

Ash Bowen holds an MFA and PhD in creative writing. He lives with his partner and step-children in Alabama, where he teaches creative writing and literature at the U of A in Tuscaloosa.


  From The Even Years of Marriage:





Under winter’s deck of stars,
my neighbor advances onto the pond, careful
as ever, each step a test
of the uneasy ice.
On the bank behind him, his wife.
Before him, the lover he cannot get over.
All winter I’ve watched his nightly back-and-forth.
But tonight my wife pulls the curtains closed.
She shuts off the lamp, tumbles
her braid down her back.
Her true love stands in the shut dark
of her eyes—waiting
beneath the thinnest strip of moon.
In our bed, there’s only
a sudden collapse of ice.



The Even Years of Marriage

Copyright 2013 Ash Bowen

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