Monday, May 14, 2018

Review of INSOMNIATIC POEMS by Valerie Fox

Insomniatic is the newest poetry chapbook from Valerie Fox, author of The Rorschach Factory and The Glass Book. These poems haunt and question, dream and wander, asking the reader to question what is a dream state and what does it mean to be awake.
“Insomniatic” (poems) asks the question: Who are we when we dream?


At first, the poems came off quite perplexing then it hit me like a rock upside the head, realizing my approach to understanding the poems was amiss. I am still a newbie to reading poetry, enjoying all that I have read including the INSOMNIATIC collection, especially when I grasped the symbolization of the poems. 

If you have been awake for far too many days with just a catnap to call sleep like I have before, reality can become obscure as if you are seeing the world through jello. The distortion of reality is represented befittingly within these poems. 

Also, the bizarre, creepy, and nonsensicality of dreams is portrayed in the poems nicely. Such as, in my dreams which have a meaning that is buried deep within, containing objects that seem not to fit, and situations that do not exist in our waking world. Valerie Fox has great skill in portraying all this in her writing. Therefore, every time the reader rereads one of these poems it is like if you are having a recurring dream, yet each time there is a slight difference each time you experience one.   

This is more than poetry it is an adventure!


Valerie Fox’s books of poetry include The Rorschach Factory (2006, Straw Gate Books) and The Glass Book (2010, Texture Press). She co-wrote Poems for the Writing: Prompts for Poets with Lynn Levin. Bundles of Letters Including A, V and Epsilon (2011, Texture Press) is a collaborative book with Arlene Ang. “Scarecrow Lists of Failures and Grocery Items” (a collaboration with Ang) may be found here, at Thrush.

Her work has appeared in many journals, including Thrush, Painted Bride Quarterly, Hanging Loose, Apiary, West Branch, Sentence, and Qarrtsiluni. Originally from central Pennsylvania, she has traveled and lived throughout the world, and has taught writing and literature at numerous universities including Sophia University (in Tokyo) and currently at Drexel University (in Philadelphia).