NIGHTFALL is a collection of vivid poems from an American poet in her seventh decade.
Anne Valley-Fox sets out to investigate personal issues of aging, loss, and regeneration of spirit. Introspective poems are matched with intense evocations of the external world’s beauty and cruelty.
These are intimate meditations: Valley-Fox invites the reader to lean in close as she “sorts through the wreckage,” “bows to the morning,” waits for a song “on the wave of your next breath.” A number of poems evoke the dazzling work of other writers, as if to say: here’s how language, deeply imagined, sets us free.
Valley-Fox’s signature voice is tough and tender, sensuous and exacting. This collection is lively with questions, brave explorations of human character and behavior. “Will paralysis strike, with it’s stark intent to humiliate / as the odd crisis occurs?” “Might suicide be a pilgrimage towards the light?” “Have you loved enough?”
Self and world, body and earth, are fused through juxtaposition. Beauty’s Beast pairs with Fukushima, Sandy Hook with “a few bad apples,” wild fires with Lady Godiva, Harvey Milk with the Second Amendment, Ebola virus with tenderness.
“Poet Anne Valley-Fox has a beautiful, wide gaze—viewing what she sees with openness, empathy: out the back door of her home, a pueblo neighborhood, pop-up dreams, memories, incidents of travel, smoke, the animal warmth of others—all equally seen—’words for the good.’ And her self surprises her—’her game is to do as she pleases’—which pleases us, her readers. ‘I’m innocent, damn it! Forgive me.'”—Joanne Kyger