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Review of "Paternity"
Date of Review: 
Published Work: 
Jackie Regales

Paternity is so perfect, so obviously a book of poems I will come back to again and again, that I find so inspiring.

The poem that best represents this collection, to me, is "On the Days I Am Not My Father," which has been featured on Garrison Keillor's The Writer’s Almanac. It is full of the poignant urges we feel to both imitate and obliterate our parents, who will always be our first models, and the thrill and dismay of seeing ourselves and our parents in our children. Its language is straightforward, its subject complicated, and the poem inspires reflection even as it offers no easy resolutions. Owens, in his fifth poetry collection, is confident, candid and sharp, handling Paternity with caution, joy and full awareness of the dangers and delights it brings.—Jackie Regales