Richard H. Fox – “On Courage” Featured Contributor


Poet Richard H. Fox "On Courage" Contributor

Richard H. Fox was born and bred in Worcester MA. He attended Webster University, as much artist colony as college, in the early 1970’s. These diverse cultures shaped his world view and love of words. He is a former President of Poetry Oasis, Inc., a non-profit poetry association dedicated to education and promoting local poets, and was Managing Editor of its journal Diner. Richard’s poems have appeared in numerous journals including Above Place, Boston Literary Magazine, OVS, Poetry Quarterly, Midstream Magazine, and Worcester Review. He is the author of two poetry collections: Time Bomb (2013) and wandering in puzzle boxes (2015). A cancer survivor, many of Richard’s poems focus on cancer from the patient’s point of view drawing on hope, humor, and unforeseen gifts. He seconds Stanley Kunitz’ motion that people in Worcester are “provoked to poetry.”

 Time Bomb 

Time Bomb by Richard H. Fox "On Courage" Prize

 Praise for Time Bomb  

“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.” — Robin Stratton, author of Of Zen and Men and In His Genes, editor of Boston Literary Magazine

“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.” — John Hodgen, AWP Donald Hall Prize in Poetry, author of Heaven & Earth Holding Company and Grace

“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.” — Liz Rosenberg, author of The Laws of Gravity and Home Repair

 wandering in puzzle boxes 

wandering in puzzle boxes by Richard H. Fox "On Courage" Prize

 Praise for wandering in puzzle boxes 

“What are you looking for? I think you’ll find it here in Richard H. Fox’s second poetry collection, wandering in puzzle boxes. They’re all present and accounted for: the poems of love and loss, health and healing, identity and homage, the lyrics and the narratives intertwined. When this speaker tells me, “I want to wear Coke-bottle glasses, corneas blue whale eyes,” I believe him. In fact, I’d follow this man down Alligator Alley and the Massachusetts Turnpike. I’d stand beside him in “the mourner’s waiting line,” share a beer while “a folk singer/belts out francophone lyrics over a dreadnought.” I say I would, but I already have. Put your thumb out, and hitch this humble, honest ride.” — Julie Marie Wade, author of When I Was Straight: Poems and Postage Due: Poems & Prose Poems

“Eleanor Roosevelt spoke of the confidence and courage that come when one has looked fear in the face. She could have been speaking about Rich Fox, whose new book is testament to that remarkable confidence and courage. These poems ring with a power and intensity that come only after achieving a kind of fearlessness, having looked fear in the face and becoming empowered to speak to and with great conviction now about love and war and loss and friendship. Fox wanders in the puzzle box of life with a clear-eyed intensity, as a gifted writer, observer and friend to us all, writing with “flashes of yearning, grace” about this puzzling, mysterious, and infinitely beautiful world. — John Hodgen, AWP Donald Hall Prize in Poetry, author of Grace and Heaven & Earth Holding Company

“Richard Fox’s unique muse wanders through the landscapes of cancer, aging, mourning, Judaism and Boomer memory to produce poems of riveting power and imagination. His cancer poems are unforgettable and his remembrances of times past and friends lost are propelled by a compelling lyrical narrative that seeks to unlock the truth from the puzzle boxes of life and loss within us.” — Joe Pacheco, author of Sanibel Joe’s Songbook and Alligator in the Sky

To learn more about Richard’s work, please visit his website.

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