point of no return

Anne Valley-Fox

Point of No Return


112 pages

6 x 9 inches

ISBN: 1-888809-46-9





. . . Where is the point of no return?

No one sees it coming or

can tell you when.

When love reaches a point of no return, how does one respond to a fractured landscape and its tumbling uncertainties? In this poetic cycle, respected New Mexico writer Anne Valley-Fox looks for clues to the meaning of intimacy and the provenance of corruption. (“What made you blind? Why did you woo oblivion?”) In language by turns raucous, wry, tender and tough, these incisive narratives find voice in the mythology of the ordinary. The poems are sure, masterful, but not mere expositions of craft—they are made of passion and a willingness to risk. Her work resonates with a depth of metaphor that startles, delights and often exposes the raw facts of marriage as it actually lives. Theodore Roethke said that the poet's job is to lament & to praise—as this collection of poems surely reveals.

If the preeminent subject of poetry is poetry itself (as has famously been claimed), then the runner-up must be love. The poems in this collection are love poems in the fullest, most authentic sense. They are poems about love’s birth, about its transformation, about its death. They are, in other words, poems about the mystery of it, one of the hardest burdens humans have to bear—which is precisely why we return to it so often.
— Frederick Turner

Anne Valley Fox uses language with exquisite artistry and with relentless honesty: “The miner's lungs . . . / have darkened with elements / forged in the workshops of stars.” What she helps us to see is not always comfortable, but it is almost always surprising: how the body, in its loves and losses, is connected to the body of the earth, and how “. . . tenderly, earth remembers.”
— Pat Schneider

Restrained and unsentimental, yet rich in depths of feeling and resilient humor, the poems in Point of No Return record the all-too-human drama of loss and desire — of that which remains after love’s demise. Writing with eloquent clarity, in poems as lucid as dawn, Anne Valley-Fox has given us a brave and memorable account of the point of no return — that time when the only way out is to move on, wherever “on” might be.
— R.W. French

Anne Valley-Fox’s Point of No Return offers an intricate tango: the push-pull of separation and reconnection, enchantment and disillusionment, the tug of gravity and the urge to soar. Valley-Fox does this dance with grace and wit even as the narrative takes us through the treadmill of domesticity and the ickiness of divorce. She has the mind and heart of a supreme sensualist, which luckily for us translates lusciously into some mighty fine poetry. This book finds Valley-Fox at the top of her game as a goddess and a wordsmith, an irresistible combination.
— Suzi Winson

Long time New Mexico resident, Anne Valley-Fox worked as a Poet-in-the-Schools with New Mexico Arts during the 1970s and 80s. From 1991-94, she mentored teen writers at Santa Fe’s Center for Contemporary Arts. Since 1986, she has worked with Project Crossroads, a non-profit educational resource group based in Santa Fe. She is co-author with Sam Keen of the nonfiction work Your Mythic Journey Finding Meaning in Your Life through Writing and Storytelling. Her poems are collected in Sending the Body Out (1986) and a special issue of Fish Drum Magazine (1999); as well as in the anthologies New Mexico Poetry Renaissance (1994 ); The Best of Mothering: 1976-1996; and In Company: New Mexico Poets After 1960 (UNM Press, 2004) She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico