150 pages: $16.00
Owen Hill’s short satirical poems make their point with sly insouciance. Gleaned from many years of chapbooks, pamphlets, and appearances in underground literary magazines they nudge, prod, delight, and sometimes stop just short of insult. Hill is also a crime fiction writer and there’s a more than subtle whiff of the mean streets in his verse.
It is a tremendous gift to have so many of Owen Hill’s elegant utterances— and George Sanders’s, and those of the wittiest kid, aka the class pessimist— gathered in one loving volume. It makes the world a slightly, but crucially, larger place. —Jonathan Lethem
Owen Hill may stroll among the spurious, but his poems ring no false notes. From the taut epigrammatic to the beachy lyrical, this minimalist symphony in nine movements is informed by Hollywood’s classic character actors, Renaissance courtly love poems, and the spare language of the Moderns. A sly, mordant humor refreshes the line; desire trumps all. Hill’s work could be the love child of Oscar Wilde and Apollinaire. —Gloria Frym
You know how somebody quietly does their work for decades and then one day it all appears at once before you as a testament to fidelity and perception? A Walk Among The Bogus lays out the gems of one of Bay Area poetry’s best-kept secrets— finally! “Minor poet,” nothin’— Owen Hill’s got spleen and song for miles and miles and miles. —David Brazil
I love hearing the world (its broken beauty is born) through Owen Hill’s ears—his poems make a perfect fusion of song and epigram—they are wise and furious and always just ahead of everyone else. And you want to be there with him—you want to know what he knows. He is a magic and necessary poet. —Joseph Lease
Owen Hill comes from a line of Left Coast noir writers who’ve skulked from Hollywood to San Francisco, unafraid to “walk among the bogus.” Like Chandler, Hammett, Ross MacDonald, beneath the hard-boiled narrative of his novels (the great Chandler Apartments series) runs a precise indictment of corruption, money, and political power. Here is Hill’s poetry— the same no nonsense tone, voice full of gunpowder, ripping the cover off the industrial-entertainment complex. These flinty poems would do a union organizer proud. —Andrew Schelling