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Rochelle Owens

Rochelle Owens in 2009. Courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Rochelle Bass Owens (born April 2, 1936) is an American poet and playwright.[1]

Life[]

Owens was born Rochelle Bass in Brooklyn, New York, the daughter of Molly (Adler) and Maxwell Bass. She studied at the New School for Social Research (now The New School) and the University of Montreal. After a brief marriage to David Owens, she married poet George Economou on June 17, 1962.[2] She has taught at Brown University, the University of California-San Diego, the University of Oklahoma, and the University of Southwestern Louisiana (now the University of Louisiana at Lafayette).[3]

A pioneer in the experimental Off-Broadway Theatre movement and also influential to the poetry at St.Marks Poetry Project and Deux Megots as a founding participant as well as being involved in the ethnopoetics movement, Owens is widely known as one of the most innovative and controversial writers of this century, whose ground-breaking work has influenced subsequent experimental playwrights and poets. Since its first publication in 1961, her play "Futz" has become a classic of the American avant-garde and an international success. Toronto banned it, an Edinburgh paper dubbed it "lust and bestiality play" but New Yorkers queued around the block when it was first produced in the sixties. In 1969, it was made into a film, which has attained a cult following.

Her plays have been presented worldwide and in festivals in Edinburgh, Avignon, Paris and Berlin. Owens' important literary contribution has been the subject of a wide range of scholarship. During the 1960s and 70s Owens' plays premiered in New York City at The Judson Poets Theatre, LaMama ETC., Theatre for the New City and The American Place Theatre. She was a founding member of The New York Theater Strategy and the Women's Theater council. In 1984 after relocating to Norman, Oklahoma, she hosted "The Writers Mind", a radio interview program from The University of Oklahoma featuring creative artists. She currently lives in Philadelphia, PA and Wellfleet, MA. [4]

In 2006 she was celebrated for her achievements at LaMama Theatre in New York in its series, Coffeehouse Chronicles.[5] Her autobiography is published in "Contemporary Authors", Volume 2; Gale Research, 1983. Owens has lectured and read widely in the United States and abroad and has been a participant at the Franco-Anglais Festival de Poesie, Paris.

A member of ASCAP, New Dramatists Alumni, and The Dramatists Guild, her poetry and plays have appeared in many journals and magazines including Upstairs At Duroc, Simbolica, Scripts, Yale Theatre, 'Yugen, Plumed Horn, Nomad, Damascus Road, Midwest, New Wilderness Letter, Floating World, Exile, Sulfur, Partisan Review, Trobar, First Intensity, Golden Handcuffs, Mandorla, 13th Moon, Truck, The Cafe Review, Another Chicago Review, Jacket2, Temblor, Poems And Poetics,The Iowa Review and the on-line publication New Verse News. Com. Her controversial poem, "Chomsky Grilling Linguica" has been nominated for two On-line Awards for Best Poetry.

Writing[]

Rochelle Owens is widely known as one of the most innovative and controversial writers of this century whose groundbreaking work has influenced subsequent experimental poets and playwrights. Since its first publication in 1961, her play "Futz" has become a classic of the American avant-garde theatre.

Recognition[]

Awards[]

  • 1965, 1967, 1982 - Village Voice Obie Awards
  • 1984 - honors from the New York Drama Critics Circle.
  • 1971 - Guggenheim Fellowship[6]
  • New York Creative Artists in Public Service Program
  • 1976 - The National Endowment for the Arts
  • 1965 - The Rockefeller Foundation grant
  • 1993 - Rockefeller Fellowship at Bellagio Center
  • 1973 - ASCAP Award
  • 1994 - Oklahoma Book Award Finalist

In popular culture[]

In 1969' "Futz" was adapted as a film attaining a cult following. ath".

Publications[]

Poetry[]

  • Not Be Essence that Cannot Be. New York: Trobar, 1961.
  • Four Young Lady Poets (by by Rochelle Owens, Diane Wakoski, Carol Bergé, & Barbara Moraff; edited by LeRoi Jones). New York: Totem Press / Corinth Books, 1962.
  • Salt and Core. Los Angeles: Black Sparrow, 1968.
  • I Am the Babe of Josef Stalin's Daughter: Selected poems, 1961-1971. New York: Kulchur Foundation, 1972.
  • Poems from Joe's Garage. Providence, RI: Burning Deck Press, 1973.
  • The Joe 82 Creation Poems. Los Angeles: Black Sparrow, 1974.
  • The Joe Chronicles: Part 2. Santa Barbara, CA: Black Sparrow, 1978.
  • Shemuel. New York: New Rivers Press, 1979.
  • French Light. Oklahoma City, OK: Press with the Flexible Voice, 1984.
  • Constructs. Norman, OK: Poetry Around, 1985.
  • Anthropoligists at a Dinner Party. Tucson, AZ: Chax Press, 1985.
  • W.C. Fields in French Light: Poems. New York: Contact II Publications, 1986.
  • How Much Paint Does the Painting Need? New York: Kulchur Foundation 1988.
  • Black Chalk: Discourse on life and death. Norman, OK: Texture Press, 1992.
  • Rubbed Stones: Poems, 1960-1992. Norman, OK: Texture Press, 1994.
  • New and Selected Poems, 1961-1996. San Diego, CA: Junction Press, 1997.
  • Luca: Discourse on life and death (introduction by Marjorie Perloff). San Diego, CA: Junction Press, 2001.
  • Triptych. Guilderland, NY: Texture Press, 2006.
  • Solitary Workwoman. New York: Junction Press. 2011.
  • Out of Ur: New and selected poems, 1960-2012. Bristol, UK: Shearsman Press, 2012.
  • Hermaphropoetics: Drifting geometries. San Diego, CA: Singing Horse Press, 2017

Plays[]

  • Futz. New York: Hawk's Well Press, 1961.
  • The String Game. New York: Judson Poets Theatre, 1965; Alexandria, VA: Alexander Street Press, 2004.
  • Homo. Hawk's Well Press, 1968; Alexandria, VA: Alexander Street Press, 2004.
  • Istanboul. Hawk's Well Press, 1968; Alexandria, VA: Alexander Street Press, 2004.
  • Futz / Who do you want, Peire Vial? New York: Broadway, 1968.
    • Becich. New York: Studio Duplicating, 1968; Alexandria, VA: Alexander Street Press, 2004.
  • Futz, and what came after: Five plays. New York: Random House, 1968.
  • Spontaneous Combustion: Eight new American plays. New York: Winter House, 1972.
  • The Karl Marx Play: A play with music. New York: Samuel French, 1973.
  • The Karl Marx Play, and others. New York: Dutton, 1974.
  • The Widow and the Colonel: A play in one act. New York: Dramatists Play Service, 1977.
  • Emma Instigated Me. Alexandria, VA: Alexander Street Press, 2004.
  • Coconut Folk-Singer. Alexandria, VA: Alexander Street Press, 2004.
  • Farmer's Almanac. Alexandria, VA: Alexander Street Press, 2004.
  • He Wants Shih! Alexandria, VA: Alexander Street Press, 2004.
  • Kontraption. Alexandria, VA: Alexander Street Press, 2004.
  • Sweet Potatoes. Alexandria, VA: Alexander Street Press, 2004.


Except where note, bibliographical information courtesy WorldCat.[7]

See also[]

References[]

External links[]

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