I like to collaborate with visual artists, such as Thomas Nozkowski in Ing Grish, because they set parameters that as a poet you might not get to. I’m now working with a young artist named Charles Webster, an abstract artist, and I thought I would get the things that he makes to be the speakers in the poem. I would not have thought of that unless I had the images in front of me.
— Chris Busa
Bowen’s intention, it seems, is not to add to what already exists but rather to use what’s right in front of him, coveting materials that come fully loaded with the patina of the past so that he may give them another chance in the present. Scavenged wood from old fish boxes, rescued cable drums, and storm-damaged objects tossed up on the tide—all of his materials carry their own stories. Bowen’s canny resourcefulness is unique, a “what you see is what you get” pragmatism that redirects our attention to the everyday, the discarded, the infirm detritus that he notices and carefully reassembles into tributes that hold integrity and ingenuity in high esteem. What he finds may be a bundle of truncated oars, a blue tarp shrouding a small inverted stool, or slats of raw wood from old fish boxes brined with history, but Bowen’s ability to turn the mundane into magic is what defines him.
— André van der Wende