Studio Review To Gladden Heart

by on 08 February, 2013 with 0 Comments

The current issue of the journal 'Studio' gave me such pleasure that I'm reproducing it in full. It's the sort of review that makes one keep writing, even in the most dismal moments of self-doubt.

Studio 126 213 Reviews Valerie Volk In Due Season A Promise of Peaches Even Grimmer Tales Reviewed by Paul Grover Valerie Volk is a passionate, dedicated and highly creative poet. These three recent books are a powerful testament to these qualities, and reverberate with her passion, power and poetic force. A Promise of Peaches is a verse novel exploring the tensions and passions experienced in the lives of two European post-war refugees taken into an Australian home in the 1950s – the worlds of adolescence, a foreign culture and the challenges of growing up in this new world are deeply experienced through these interconnected poems. The Australian poets Geoff Page and Thomas Shapcott offer high praise for these intense, compassionate and persuasive stories woven into a revealing and absorbing poetic work. In Due Season is a collection of poems on love and loss evoking deep experiences encountered throughout our lives. Free verse forms, sonnets and villanelles reflect highly polished craftsmanship, and the book resonates with its striking design and photographic artwork. This work won the CALEB Poetry Award in 2010. As Linda Macqueen says, “It is a gift of grace and companionship to all who grieve, for whatever reason.” Even Grimmer Tales is a fascinating set of twisted poetic adaptations of famous tales from the Brothers Grimm. Valerie Volk reinterprets these famous tales for a modern context, with a sardonic eye for richer, darker ironies and a witty take on each traditional story. Peter Goldsworthy calls them “funny, dark and sly monologues ... with plenty of spice” while Bruce Dawe says “The ferocious deaths are gone, but the ironies of living are correspondingly enhanced in Volk’s innovative telling of the tales.” This is a highly polished and deliciously subversive book but, as Volk’s sub-title states, not for the faint-hearted. Paul Grover

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