(Review) Insomniatic by Valerie Fox



Publisher and Publication Date: PS Books, Regional Publishing National Voice, A division of Philadelphia Stories. October 20, 2017.
Genre: Poetry.
Pages: 26.
Source: I received a complimentary paperback copy from Valerie Fox. I was not required to write a positive review.
Rating: Very good.

Poetic Book Tours

This book is not available in ebook, only paperback for $10.


ValerieFoxPhoto copy

Poet Info:
Valerie Fox’s 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).
Goodreads, the author page for Valerie Fox.
Poems For The Writing, a blog.
Thrush, a poetry journal published 6 times a year.
Across the Margins

About the Book:
Insomniatic is the newest poetry chapter book from Valerie Fox, author of The Roschach 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.

My Thoughts:
Twenty-four poems are included in the Insomniatic book.
My favorite poems are Insomnia; And for that matter, what does it mean to be human? and I’ll come see you.
The first poem and chapter of the book is Insomnia. The first stanza jumped out at me. I agree, we do seem to be, “afraid to call upon one another unless the meeting has been pre-arranged.” I think back to the days when we just picked up the land-line telephone and called a person. I remember when there wasn’t answering machines. I remember when there wasn’t caller ID and other specs for phones. I remember a time when the telephone rang I really did want to talk. Now, we text first and then see if it’s okay to call the person. But, I believe this poem goes deeper than calling a person. It resonates with being “afraid” to reach out to another person when we’re in trouble, or lonely, or feeling the need to have companionship. We have to test the waters first so to speak.
The second poem I like is And for that matter, what does it mean to be human? I’ve read this poem several times. Each time I read the poem I pick up something new. I just love this, when a poem teaches me something! In this poem, several words repeat: song, sing, good ear and ears. I take it the narrator wants to be heard? That he feels unheard and wants to share something deep in his heart. He wants to share a story.
I’ll come see you. This poem is direct, in your face and cutting. The narrator is angry and bitter. But, there is also deep disappointment and sadness.
I enjoyed reading Insomniatic! I plan to re-read the book!



(Review) Poetry and Ponderings by Diamante Lavendar


Publisher and Publication Date: W D Publishing. February 2017.
Genre: Poetry.
Pages: 120.
Source: Complimentary paperback copy from Diamante Lavendar. I was not required to write a positive review.
Rating: Very good.

From award-winning author of Breaking the Silence, Poetry and Ponderings: A Journey of Abuse and Healing Through Poetry by Diamante Lavendar.

A raw collection of religious poetry and prose based on one Christian woman’s experiences of being abused, and how she healed herself with God’s love in order to move past the assaults.

In this rare collection of nonfiction Christian poetry and prose based on real life experiences, Diamante Lavendar, a victim of abuse, shows the reader the raw emotions of pain, hate, and denial that occur before a victim of abuse can find a way to heal from the pains of assault. Knowing herself the very difficult journey of being a victim, Diamante was abused as a child, and turned to alcohol and drugs to numb the pain. Many years later, she started to heal under God’s watchful eyes and was able to find love in her life again. She shares these truly inspiring, religious poems in the hopes that it may help other victims heal their hurts, as she did while writing the poetry collection.

Advance Praise:

Poetry and Ponderings is the most loving and beautiful dedication to Diamante Lavendar’s daughter.  Anybody who has gone through a grieving time needs to read this classic expression of love and devotion.  I tip my hat to the author for this marvelous collection of wisdom, insight and truth.  -Mel Novak, Actor, Best known for his role in Bruce Lee’s Game Of Death.

Tragedy turned triumph.  Poetry and Pondering’s beautifully leads the reader from gut wrenching pain to glorious freedom and healing.  A must read for survivors and those who love them.  -Sarah Boes, Founder of More Precious Than Rubies, reaching victims of commercial sexual exploitation.

Diamante’s Poetry and Ponderings are an affirmation, and flow to the close of her book with the summation of her awakening.  She has, in each poem, walked us through to her understanding and acceptance;  we are the creation of God’s breath, as souls to live life to the fullest, and with forgiveness…’Writing is her way of leaving her mark:  one poem, one story at a time.’ This book achieves this endeavor.  -Sam Eastwood, International Poet

About the Poet: Diamante Lavendar has been in love with reading since she was a child. Diamante believes that everyone should try to leave their own positive mark on the world, and to make it a better place for all. Writing is her way of leaving her mark—one story at a time. She began writing in college and has published poetry in anthologies over the years. Most of her writing is very personal and stems from her own experiences, and those of her family and friends. She writes to encourage hope and possibility to those who read her stories. To learn more about Diamante Lavendar and her books, please visit her website at: www.diamantelavendar.com.

My Thoughts:

I consider Poetry and Ponderings more than a book of poetry. It is a treasure of encouragement, comfort, and wisdom.

Some of the poems are Christian based. Most of them are memories of life experiences, and how she felt and what she learned. They are a journaling of her life.

The poems are powerful. Lavendar pours her heart out on paper. Whether those feelings are anger or sadness.

Most of the poems are non-rhyming or free verse.

One of my favorite poems is on page 73. Enlightened Affirmations. I love this poem, because it moves past the anger and pain, and focuses on the healing of forgiveness.

Lay down your weapons; embrace and be one;

Forgiveness will reign when the battle is done.

A second favorite poem is on pages 106-107.

The Journey is the title. Two favorite lines are, “To forge our paths through the dust and darkness, To rise up and become what we were meant to be.” And the last stanza, “And that is when we will know our journey has been worthwhile, And we are much richer for having taken it.”

At this point in my journey of recovery from abuse, these lines spoke to me. I have come a long ways since I began recovery. It feels very good to be where I am!