Within Without // by Ken Osborne

I first met Ken Osborne in 2012, at a poetry reading in Redmond, Washington. He stood at the front of the room and read from a thick, loosely bound paperback book. At first, I was drawn by the music in his voice and by the way he lovingly handled certain turns of phrase. Ken is from the U.K., now settled here in the Pacific Northwest. At first, I thought the book was a collection of 19th-century English poets, and he was reading his favorites, as open mic readers often do. But then I learned that the man himself wrote these poems. He read to us about his mother, his father, his second homeland of Wales, of lost loves, old churches, the sound of the sea and the sound of battle.
I felt the hint of sonnets, of rhythmic ballads. And little did I know, once I agreed to proofread the book, that the task would become a deeper reading, an immersion, and
that our exchanges, in email and in coffeehouses, would blossom into friendship.
I urge you to read this book. There is a wistful, melancholic sigh in many of the poems, as they progress, like a beautiful dirge, down the long hall of memory. Osborne’s verbal style plays against strict verse forms. There is a density, an alliteration and internal rhyme that draws the
reader in. There is rage, hunger, longing, and playfulness. And occasionally, there is loving self-acceptance.
—Laura Lee Bennett, Board Member, Redmond Association
of Spokenword (RASP)