Saul Wisnia, Inside The Institute (Dana-Farber Cancer Institute)
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Patricia Corrigan honors me with a mention in her blog post about April Poetry Month.
Victor D. Infante, Worcester Telegram & Gazette, March 27 2014
“Richard H. Fox is kind of a quiet, unassuming figure on the Worcester poetry scene. Oh, he pops his head up here and there, but to tell the truth, I think I may have only ever seen him read in public a handful of times, and never an entire feature.
After reading his book "Time Bomb," though, I can unequivocally state that Fox is a writer worth paying attention to.
"Time Bomb," from Kittatuck Press, takes the themes of adolescence, rock 'n' roll and time itself, and lights a fuse beneath them. Fox transforms everything he touches in the book into tinder.
"I crawl a maze of fears," he writes, in the book's title poem, "airplane crashes?/ice propels car off bridge?/anaesthesia stops heart?/killer lurks in dark alley?/motorcycle lane splits?/red meat bungs veins?/beer drowns discipline?/After the explosion/ petty fears are annulled/tomorrows will follow/or not."
It's in this anxiety and combustion that Fox finds a path toward acceptance, a way of moving toward anything except fire.
"You fight your battle alone," he writes, in "To Adam on a Utah mountainside where Navajo spirits weave his belief that Zady is one of the righteous men who keep the world from being destroyed." "There is no one to flee but yourself/Look in the mirror/ swing the chain until it rattles in place,/not like a saber,/but pebbles in a shaman's gourd calling sacred ancestors to circle the campfire."
Robin Stratton, author of Of Zen and Men and In His Genes, editor of Boston Literary Magazine
“It's official—I need a phrase that goes beyond ‘brilliant genius’ to describe Richard Fox and Time Bomb, his new collection of poetry. From a letter John Lennon sends to his son Sean's teacher explaining why he'll be out that day, to hippies, beats, Romeo & Juliet at Auschwitz, a lover named Madeleine, and Mrs. Noah's Bitch, this book is all over the place! Achingly beautiful, mercilessly evocative and compelling, these poems resonate with anyone has had to deal with sorrow and fear. The stakes couldn't be higher as we journey with him through his battle with cancer, so elegantly described in stark, heart rendering detail that you simply can't stop reading. With grace, courage, and humor, Time Bomb will move you, upset you, frighten you and inspire you. One of the year's best. By far.”
Liz Rosenberg, author of The Laws of Gravity and Home Repair
"Richard Fox honors the phrase 'provoked to poetry.' His poems are provoking and provocative and the very best of them deal with suffering and illness, with wildness and a new kind of Jewish identity. Time Bomb is not cancer free. It is vital and essential reading."
John Hodgen, AWP Donald Hall Prize in Poetry, author of Heaven & Earth Holding Company and Grace
“Rich Fox calls himself a small poet at large, but there is nothing small about the poems in Time Bomb. They are large-themed and large-hearted, framed by a world at war with itself and a world all the more lovely when it is almost taken from us, when we see how filled to overflowing it is with light and joy and longing and loss. These are well crafted, poignant, clever and ultimately wise poems which leave the reader wanting to believe one can throw one’s arms around this hard won world, and, better yet, that the world will hold us in its arms as well.”
Charles Coe, author of Picnic on the Moon and All Sins Forgiven: Poems for My Parents
“Time Bomb is a testament to maturity and hard-won wisdom. These finely crafted poems radiate intelligence, black humor and vivid imagination, and are filled with imagery that startles repeatedly but always feels exactly right. Richard Fox is a poet whose raw materials are illness, loss, and disappointment and like the alchemists of old, he changes lead to gold.”
Don White, author, singer songwriter, comedian
"I found myself reading Time Bomb the way I read Shakespeare ... slow, savoring each line individually before considering its contribution to the poem. With descriptive precision and loving humor Richard Fox brought me deeper into his world than I would have previously believed possible. This was the most satisfying read I have had in years."