Contemporary Canadian Literature with a Distinctly Urban Twist

Anvil Press

Trobairitz

Trobairitz

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Twenty-first century metalheads; twelfth century troubadours and their female counterparts, the trobairitz—what could they possibly have in common? The creation of an often misunderstood and at times reviled genre for one; for another, a kin preoccupation with the questioning of structures set up by class, gender, and religion.

Praise for Trobairitz:

“Owen pounds out sombre love, transcendent rhythms, and gender-bending boldness … Trobairitz starts the heart like the thud of a bass line and opens the mind like a scream, poem after poem.”
—Quill & Quire

“In this subtle but gripping blend of time and place and sexualities, Catherine Owen has created a modern epic in which a contemporary female voice from the metal scene reclaims the troubadour tradition, imagining the equality of the sexes in even these most heavily male-dominated musical worlds. Part love story, part musical proclamation of independence, Owen moves us through time and space to explore how women who ‘go first’ may struggle, but are not alone and in fact, are part of a long, long tradition.”
—Kate Braid, author of Turning Left to the Ladies

“Describing metal fans as ‘raw birds, eyes banged out of their heads,’ Owen’s loving scorn allows her to walk a fine line between paying homage to the subculture and dissecting its darkness.”
— Jonathan Ball, Winnipeg Free Press

“With resonant echoes of Provençal rhythms met with daringly applied alchemic metal, riffing upon and ripping out the roots of the word ‘trobar’ (to find), Trobairitz contemporaneously susses out medieval troubadours in a mournful place, yet one rife with the jocular spirit of courtly love. Catherine Owen is a formidably talented poet, and this is a striking addition to her oeuvre.”
—Garry Thomas Morse, author of Discovery Passages


  • Publication: Fall 12
  • ISBN: 978-1-897535-97-4
  • Pages: 156 pp
  • Size: 5.5 x 8 inches

Catherine Owen is a Vancouver poet and writer, the author of nine collections of poetry. A book of essays and memoirs, Catalysts: Confrontations with the Muse, was published earlier this year. Catherine’s work has appeared in periodicals throughout Canada, Austria, NewZealand, and Australia. Her books and poems have been nominated for numerous awards, including the Gerald Lampert Award, the BC Book Prize, the ReLit Award, the George Ryga Award for Social Awareness in Literature, Short Grain, and The Earle Birney Prize. Her last book of poetry, Frenzy (Anvil), won the Alberta Literary Award in 2009. She has a Masters degree in English and played bass in the metal bands Inhuman and Helgrind. Her current metal project is Medea.

Books by Catherine Owen