Friday, January 25, 2008
SOME CRITICAL REMARKS
“Hugh B. Fox is the most distinguished man of alternative letters of our time,” Richard Kostelanetz, in a review of The Book of Ancient Revelations (2004). In Small Press Review, Jan.-Feb.2005.
“.... a beautiful and daring dream, a bold and interesting revision of the history most of us were weaned on by the 5th grade. “ From a review of The Book of Ancient Revelations by Lo Galluccio that appeared in Chiron Review and Ibbetson Street Review, both on internet. (2004)
“...Barriers don’t last long around Hugh Fox. He is the ultimate explorer of the self....Whitman, in Song of Myself, only grazes the surfaces that Fox penetrates. Henry Miller is demure compared to Hugh Fox...” from the introduction by Eric Greinke to Time published by Presa:S:Press in 2005.
“With Hugh Fox’s work I always find an abundance, an abundance of ideas, images, yings, yangs, births,deaths....you name it....he has enjoyed a fascinating and full life, and he is not afraid to tell you about it...His poetry in Time and Other Poems celebrates the rich and cornucopia of life and his despair and regret that he will have to leave it behind at some point. Fox enmeshes the reader in a delicious sensory onslaught throughout this collection...” (A review of Time and Other Poems from Ibbetson Press e-mail review, by Doug Holder)
“Hugh Fox has long been a legend in the annals of contemporary American poetry, a poet who is unafraid to explore the deeper fodder of the human psyche....there are no barriers here for Fox is a shaman who walks through walls, ignoring all social rules and regulations...here is life as art. Fox is a poet who paints without inhibition or games....these are poems of human history, which cry out to be heard and read....” (A review of Time by B.L. Kennedy, Rattlesnake Review, #9, Spring, 2006).
“Fox has an inquisitive, fascinating and hungry mind, and he covers a wide range of subjects from drug-induced writing, ancient Indian cultures, men’s sexual prowess and pervisions, you name it...In ways Fox’s literary history reminds me of Howard Zinn’s writing. he gives you a view of the outsider, and how the outsider views things. [Way, Way Off the Road] is a history you won’t find in the classrooms, although it should be there. Fox makes darkness visible with this iconoclastic, zany and compelling memoir.” (A review by Doug Holder of Way, Way Off the Road , originally published in the e-zine Underground Window in July of 2006).
“There’s something genuinely and lovingly kooky about Hugh Fox’s world...a little Antonioni mixed up with the Adams Family on TV.....I barely have the stamina to content with Hugh Fox’s prolific energy..There are some rare nuggets of transcendence and wisdom in this book which makes it worth reading....” (An internet review of Way, Way Off the Road by Lo Galluccio, http;//www.logalluccio.com. Also reprinted in The Alewife, August, 2006).
“Got way, way off the road in the middle of one insomniac night...felt like I was waking up in a Fellini movie or maybe Buñuel....” (Review of Way, Way Off the Road by Linda Lerner, in Wilderness House Review, #1/2.)
“Way, Way Off the Road...sweeps through times and places and people in single huge bounds, on a mission not of historic exactitude, but of the sense and sentience of the moments --the drama, if you will -- of a tumultuous time in literature, publishing and politics....It is autobiography on the dead run interspersed with that creative dialogue pecular to Hugh Fox....Bennett and Fox remain true icons of the American independent press.” (Editorial by Len Fulton, editor of Small Press Review, in SPR July-August, 2006).
“Fox has a great eye for detail, both inner & outer...he actually performs better when he’s focused outside himself. For the inner stuff, is poetry is the better vehicle...Way, Way Off the Road is for hardcore Fox fans.It doesn’t add much to the story for those who have read his best, but is entertaining in a ‘guilty-pleasure’ sort of way....” (Review in Presa, #5, Spring, 2007).
“HUGH FOX BIO IS FULL OF WILD ADVENTURES. Hugh Fox...has produced a highly entertaining and bizarre volume of recollections. “Way, Way Off the Road,” subtitled “The Memoirs of the Invisible Man,” is a wild autobiographical tour of the memories of an internationally known poet, author, editor, publisher and bibliographer...The book provides a tantalizing, unusual collection of literary memories that are best savored in small doses, slowly absorbing the frenetic views of a creative, eccentric literary figure.” (Review of Way, Way Off the Road by Ray Walsh, the owner of The Curious Book Shop in the Lansing State Journal, Sunday,
“Fox spares no emotion: fear, joy, anger, family...it’s more like an autobiography than true poetry, but Fox makes it work, and pulls the reader into his persona with ease and conviction. Many of the poems are Buddha-like reflections, but in the end it is always death hovering in the distance...throughout the boook he writes as a man at peace with himself, his his dedication to life as art...” (Review of Time and other Poems by A.D. Winans, Home Planet News, Issue 55 (Vol.14, No.2), Fall, 2006).
“The themes of age, death and disease and atrocity run throughout all of the plays and monologues. Fox makes us laugh at those things in life, those fearful unknowns that can strike us down. While making us think about feeling obsolete, and injecting a disparate sadness deep within the muscle of our hearts he coaxes chuckles and chortles. His explorations into the human condition are the synthesis of pain and laughter, and that is life.” (Review of Ommmmmm: A Collection of Plays and Monologues published by World Audience Inc. in 2007. Internet review, TCM Reviews, March, 2007)
“Fox...is a poet, scholar and critic [who] has ambitions as a playwright as well. The plays in this collection aren’t your standard Arthur Miller or Thornton Wilder fare. They are more like Samuel Beckett on acid. Fox writes the way he talks: a rapid fire stream-of-consciousness, full of anecdotes....and arcane esoteric references from his seventy-five eclectic years,” Internet review by Doug Holder of Ommmmmm: A Collection of Plays and Monologues, on Ibbeson Update.
“Hugh Fox’s style is unique. The subjects that he discusses are done so irreverently. He uses humor and a touch of sarcasm to make his points...,” review of Ommmmmm by Debra Gaynor for Reader Views, on-line review. (1/07)
“Hugh Fox is an American original. There is no one else writing like him today,” Richard Morris.
Angela Mankiewicz reviewing Wobbly Zombies in the Small Press Review, Sept.-Oct., 2004: “A wild romp of a book...not poetry or a novel or essays, but rather a surreal travelogue, a journey through modern and post-modern art, with sidetrips through old horror films and their remakes and stops at post-classical music...magical and frightening, sometimes funny, always fascinating and more rewarding with each reading.”
Bill Ryan in The Unborn Book: “Hugh Fox is the Paul Bunyan of American Letters, part myth, part monster, and, myself-as-subject, a magnificent non-stop storyteller.”
Richard Morris on Shaman (Small Press Review, June, 1993): “....a book that is truly staggering...Shaman is, quite simply a masterpiece...”
Michael Hemmingson on Shaman: “This is a journey novel, as we follow the narrator, a writer/professor/small press publisher, across the country over several years as he explores the interior and exterior frontiers of his sexuality...as we get further into the novel, we stop and wonder: where have I read/felt this same kind of insane, intense energy? Kerouac, of course...Shaman being [Fox’s] personal On the Road....” (Gypsy 20).
Rich Mangelsdorff writing about The Omega Scriptures in the Nola Express, #79, April 16-29, 1971: “Fox is hitting his stride as a prose-fictionist and as is so often the case, honesty, candor and heightened consciousness are the sailent features. The Omega Scriptures are scathingly unpretentious, confessional, an absorbing odyssey of a brilliant man...this is one of the fiction events of the year.”
“Hugh Fox is a fountainhead of a wide, fast-running stream of prose, poetry , music and drama....Fox strikes one as being almost frantic about his work, racing to do all he can before everything comes to a screeching half for some unknown reason.” (From “Tapping a ‘fountainhead’ of prose and poetry,” by Bill Betts, in the MSU News-Bulletin, May, 18, 1972).
“Hugh Fox...is considered an icon in the small press.” (Sandy Raschke, in a review of The Last Summer, in Calliope, January-February, 1996).
“Hugh Fox is a ghost dancer, immersed in the great myths...He connects the holy madman artists to the metaphyscal existential experimenters....” (Essay by Jim Bodeen, Dec.2000,Blue Begonia Press, firstname.lastname@example.org)
“The poetry of Hugh Fox suggests a sort of mythical exploration of experience,how a particular moment can serve as a coming together of the eternal -- cross cultural and cross experiential....,” from an essay “Hugh Fox -- More Than a Poet,” an interview-essay by Mahlon Coop that appeared in Potpourri, Prairie Village, Kansas, Vol.8, No.1, 1996.
“Hugh Fox’s Gods of the Cataclysm...ought to be required reading for cultural historians of all disciplines.” (Curt Johnson, December Press, editor-publisher of Who’s Who in
“Hugh Fox....is a polyglot, polymath and world class anthropologist gone native...,” Brian Clark in the Foreward to Fox’s The Point of Points-A Volume of Short Fictions (1996).
“Hugh Fox is one of the most interesting and novel developments on the alternative culture and Littlemag scene. He is for real but might better be explained as a fictional creation...he has become one of the foremost authorities(who knows, perhaps the foremost authority) on pre-Columbian American cultures....” (Robert Sagehorn, The Western World Review, Vol. II, No.3,Fall, 1977).
About The Gods of the Cataclysm: “Fox is hardly the first to be intrigued by the resemblances between Mayan and Chinese and Dravidian dragon gods/plumed serpents, yogic yantras and Mayan hieroglyphs, Cretan mazes and Pueblo kivas, and so on. But he is perhaps the most excited and totalistic proponent of the school that believes these resemblances are due to historic contact rather than archetypal coincidence. Fox is well versed in a wide range of evidence, and he is a participant in a legitimate reconsideration of the pieties of academic history and the factual versus fanciful status of myth.”(Kirkus Reviews).
About Stairway to the Sun: “There’s nothing I love more than reading a whole pile of research, especially when it challenges the closest held beliefs of science and anthropology. From a lifetime of writing and digging in university libraries, Hugh Fox has distilled his theories into one readable volume. Through example after example, he shows the links between the old world of the
Throughout the book are almost 200 line drawings illustrating his points. Excellent and balanced reading for folks who want true investigation of this developing theory.” (Factsheet Five.)
“Hugh Fox’s poems live in two worlds -- they are both now and then, they speak and are silent, they are print and voice....these are not poems about poetry, not even about or for poets; they are a search for reality-as-possibility, a commitment to conviction. To me they represent the basic style of the most relevant modern poetry, that is, the conviction that language is meaningful(whatever its source of meaning) because poetry itself gives evidence of its capacity to mean...Only through words, that most difficult of adversaries, can one mediate ultimate problems, reveal and validate experience, and his do.” Intoduction to Fox’s collected poetry by Pulitzer Prize Winnter, Russel Nye.
Curt Johnson, December Press, ed. of Who’s Who In American Poets and Writers: “Stairway to the Sun [is] entirely persuasive.”
“There are the famous (the Rays, Hall, Bly, Ignatow) alongside the notorious (Locke and Fox)...,” from a review by Michael McIrvin of Black Moon: Poetry of Imagination, in Small Magazine Review, August-September, 1997.
About poem-series Ghosts: “Powerful....visionary,” Francine Ringold, editor of Nimrod.
“One of the most active and enlightened minds in the contemporary poetry scene,” Poetry Review (
“...although [Hugh Fox] has spent some forty years discovering things like the fact that the Mochica Indians in Peru are transplanted Phoenicians from Carthage, and writing huge, Henry Jamesian novels, it seems that he will be remembered in literary history, if at all, as a poet.” (The Aurorean, Spring,’98)
About Apotheosis of Olde Towne (poetry): “Olde Towne is a new sound built upon Whitman, Hart Crane, Ginsberg and Snyder that swirls into a kaleidoscope of American life, personal and public.” (Choice)
“Hugh Fox is the doyen of the literary press world.” Douglas Holder.
“’Buddha revolving between Inner Calm and an opening Spiritual Retina on the impossible Now’is the wisdom from Hugh Fox, poet-visionary extrordinaire....” Rambunctious Review, Vol. XVIII, 2001-2002.
Bill Katz, writing about Ghost Dance: The International Quarterly of Experimental Poetry , the poetry magazine Fox edited for more than twenty years, in the Library Journal, July, 1969: “In many ways this is the most exciting of the poetry mags noted here...the editor obviously is attempting to bring the best of the world’s younger set to the attention of American students...Fox is no mean poet himself....His two books Apotheosis of Olde Towne and Glyphs, catch the spirit of the computer-deorderant-McLuhan world in which we try to live. “
Charles Potts reviewing The Ghost Dance Anthology, ed. by Hugh Fox, in The Temple, Winter, 1997: “Hugh Fox has been a mainstay of American poetry for 30 years...a multiple Fulbright scholar, translator, editor, novelist, professor and critic as well as poet...much of whose work is available only in collector’s editions.”
“The thoughts and words of Hugh Fox, will cause the reader’s mind to pause, slow down, expand, ponder for himself/herself, perhaps wander along un-imagined-before avenues, and down dusty lanes. What more could any sentient author want? .....you will certainly not be the same as before....Kudos are in the wind,” review by Joyce Metzger of Hugh Fox:The Greatest Hits, Pudding House Publications, 2003, published on Ibbetson Street Internet Review,
“The four page introductory autobiography of Fox’s remarkable intellectual career is worth the price of this slim volume of poems. As an elder guru and a household name to those who know and are familiar with the alternative press scene, Hugh Fox presents the “hits” that reveal his wide-ranging interests, his indefatigable curiosity, his lyricis,and his overwhelming preoccupation with death and loss....Greatest Hits is a great read,” review of Greatest Hits: 1968-2001, by F. Richard Thomas, Small Press Review, May-June, 2003.
“Aporheosis of Olde Towne and Glyphs catch the sprit of the computor-deodorant-McLuhan world in which we try to life,” The Library Journal.
“Honesty, concert and wit bend through a surrealistic-to-subjective imagistic collage which is a gusty, full-throated mindrun at speeds up to hurricane,” review in Kaleidoscope of The Permeable Man (1969)
A Little Bio-Data
Born in Chicago, 1932, B.S. (Hum.) and M.A. from Loyola U.in Chicago, Ph.D. from the U. of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign).Prof. of American Literature, Loyola University in Los Angeles (now Loyola Marymount University) , 1958-1968,Professor in the Department of American Thought and Language, Michigan State University (1968-1999).Taught writing and film. Now retired, Professor Emeritus . Fulbright Professor of American Studies/Literature, U. of Hermosillo, Mexico, 1961, U. Católica and Institúto Pedagógico, Caracas, 1964-1966, U. of Florianópolis, Brazil, 1978-1980. 1 yr. studying Lt. Am. culture at Mendoza Foundation (
Some of the Books Published:
A. Archaeology, Anthropology, Sociology --
The Home of the Gods, Galde Press, 2005.
The Book of Ancient Revelations, EcceNova in B.C.,
Stairway to the Sun: Rediscovering the Origins of New World Culture, Permeable Press,
The Voyage to the House of the Sun -- The Place of Tiawanaku in Ancient Myth and Reality. Spiral-bound edition published by the author and used in his classes at Michigan State University, 1991-1993.and updated in the Fall of 1994, title changed to Pre-Columbian Contexts,The Mythological Foundations of the Epic Genre: The Solar Voyage as the Hero’s Journey, The Edwin Mellen Press, Lewiston/Queenston/Lampeter,
Tiawanaku: The Trip to Bolivia, a section of Voyage to the House of the Sun but published as a separate chapbook by Limited Editions Press, Las Vegas, Nevada, 1988,
Gods of the Cataclysm, Harper’s Magazine Press in Association with Harper and Row,
Problemas de Nuestro Tiempo, introduction by Mariano Baptista Gumucio, M.A.Garcia,
B. Literary Criticism --
Our Gang: The Last Act,
Lyn Lifshin: A Critical Study, Whitston Publishing Company,
The Poetry of Charles Potts:Criticism, Dustbooks, Number 12 in The “American Dust” Series,
An Analytical Checklist of Books from Something Else Press, published as Vol.6, No.1, of the Small Press Review (Issue Number 21, March, 1974).
Updating: A Do It Yourself Handbook on Modern Poetry, Ghost Dance Press,
The Living Underground: A Critical Overview, Whitston Publishing Company,
Charles Bukowski: A Critical and Bibliographical Study, Abyss Publications,
C. Novels .
The Last Summer,Xenos Books,
Shaman, Permeable Press,
Papa Funk: A Novel Excerpt, Brian C. Clark, Publisher,
Leviathan -- An Indian Ocean Whale Herd Journal, Carpenter Press,
Honeymoon/Mom, published as a special issue of December Magazine,
The Invisibles--A Dialectic, The Smith, New York, New York, by arrangement with Horizon Press, New York-London, 1976.
Just, Venice Publishing Corporation,
The Angel, the Mago and Mama Glinka, A Ghost Dance Pilot Edition, Ghost Dance Press, East Lansing, Michigan, 1972.
Icehouse, A Roots Forming Press Book, Okemos, Michigan, 1970-71. Countdown on an Empty Streetcar, Abyss,
D. Poetry --
Where Sanity Begins, Cervena Barva Press, W.Somerville, MA,2009.
La Paix/ Peace, Higganum Hill Press,
The Collected Poetry, WorldAudience, NYC, 2008.
Time, Presa Press,
Blood Cocoon, Presa Press,
Black Frogs, Mystery Island Publications (www.mysteryisland.net), 2004.
Hugh Fox: Greatest Hits, 1968-2001, Pudding House Publications,
Voices, Three-Legged Dog Press,
The Angel of Death: O Anjo da Morte, Ibbetson Street Press,
Slides, special edition of Lilliput Review,
Back, Ye Olde Font Shoppe,
Strata, Mayapple Press,
Techniques, K.C./Chicago Poems, Scars Publications,
Once, Permeable Press,
The Sacred Cave and Other Poems, Omega Cat Press,
Jamais Vu, Dusty Dog, Zuni,
Entre Nous, Trout Creek Press,
Time, The Plowman,
For Richard (Dick) Thomas’ Fiftieth Birthday, Zerx Press,
Our Lady of Laussel, Spectacular Diseases Press,
Song of Christopher, Clock Radio,n.p., 1987.
Nachthymnen, J. Muddfoot, Mudborn Press,
10170, Trout Creek Press,
Babicka, Kangaroo Court Publishing,
Oma: A Long Poem About the Amerindian Year Cycle Seen Through the Eyes of the Goddesses, Implosion Press,
The Dream of the Black Topaze Chamber: The Poem Cycle, Ghost Poney Press,
Almazora 42, Laughing Bear Press,
Yo Yo Poems, Allegra Press,
The Face of Guy Lombardo, The Fault Press,
Huaca, Ghost Dance Press,
Survival Handbook: For my Son (And Youngest Daughter), Cat’s Pajamas ,
Handbook Against Gorgons, A Ghost Dance Press Pilot Edition,
Echoes Off the Human Tribe, Hellric Publications,
Paralytic Grandpa Dream Secretions, Morgan Press,
The Industrial Ablution, Ghost Dance Press,
Kansas City Westport Mantras, A Ghost Dance Press Pilot Edition, East Lansing, Michigan, January, 1971.
The Ecological Suicide Bus, Camels Coming Press,
The Permeable Man, Black Sun Press,
Son of Camelot Meets the Wolfman, Quixote,
Glyphs, Fat Frog Press,
Capabilities (drawings in Part I by Cathy Cuiss), Ghost Dance Press,
Open Letter to a Closed System, Mercenary Press,
Apotheosis of Olde Towne, Fat Frog Press,
The Headless Centaurs--Their Voyage and Conquest, centerfold book in The Wormwood Review, Storrs, Connecticut, Vol.8, No.4, Issue Number 32, 1968.
Eye Into Now, Ediciones de la Frontera,
Soul-Catcher Songs, Ediciones de la Frontera,
40 Poems, Coleción Nuestro Tiempo,
Skin, Gland Press (really Abyss...this is a satire on early Lifshin),
The Angel of the Chairs, a series of 6 poems with accompanying lithographs by the Argentinian artist, Amalia Cortina Aravena, Ghost Dance Press, East Lansing, Michigan, undated, but probably 1971. One copy in the Special Collections at Michigan State U. library, 2 copies in the possession of the author, the rest destroyed.
E. Short Fiction --
The Point of Points, French Bread Publications,
The entirety of Sketches from Xibalbay, a volume of short fiction, in Beyond Baroque,
Happy Deathday, Vagabond Press,
The Face of Guy Lombardo, The Fault Press,
E. Autobiography --
Way, Way Off the Road,
F. Film -- Opening the Door to French Film, World Audience, NYC, 2007.
G. Drama -- Ommmmmm, World Audience, Inc., NYC, 2007.
Stories, parts of novels, poetry, articles and plays in Midwest Quarterly, Home Planet News, Michigan Quarterly Review, Triquarterly, The Kansas Quarterly, Western Humanities Review, Wisconsin Review, Portland Review, New Letters, Writ , Exquisite Corpse, Arizona Quarterly, Southwest Review, Wohnzimmer, Revista Nacional de Cultura (Caracas), Centennial Review, Paper Radio, Massachusetts Review, The Vinyl Elephant, Indefinite Space, City Primeval, The Rambunctious Review, Blue Jacket , Atom Mind, Cream City Review, h2 so4, Stet, The Santa Barbara Review, Lynx Eye Review,etc.