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Dining with Jan Owen

Posted by Arc, 18th June 2015

The most endearing thing about Jan Owen is her offbeat sense of humour.

Last night, the Arc team headed up to Old Town (just above Hebden Bridge) for an evening meal with the impressively warm and charming poet/translator Jan Owen. Arc has recently published her beautiful and passionate translations of Baudelaire.

Jan stayed in a B&B room above the Hare and Hounds. Unfortunately, with an absence of pre-packed biscuits. The result? - a terribly deflated Mr Tony Ward. So, what did we discover about the poet?

1. She's a lover of animals (Derek the pub owner's dog was proof of this)
2. She's a (very modest) expert on Baudelaire's death and general persona...
3. She enjoys sitting in French caf├ęs with awful wi-fi hoping to catch some signal

Jan and the Arc team spoke on a range of topics, from miserable Phillip Larkin, to logic and instinct (Owen, at all times, remained constantly enthusiastic and curious). After the meal, and a serious amount of talking, Jan kissed each of the Arc members on the cheek and graciously said goodnight.

This morning she arrived at the office with a tartan bow attached to her suitcase. This fashionable accessory led us to a discussion of the sartorial tendencies of the Arc office, and to an examination of the colour of Mr Tony Ward's jumper. She arrived at a very amusing conclusion:

It's four shades of brown with little greenish, brownish bits too. Oh, let me put my glasses on - I think I see stripes! Your shirt? Well, it's the colour of tired old taupe...

Jan it's official, you're incredibly charismatic and your departure has tinged the office with a sense of melancholy. We truly hope to see you again in the near future. Thank you so much for visiting!