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March 2004
96 pages  

5 1/2 x 9
9780822958420
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Insomnia Diary
Hicok, Bob
Bob Hicok’s fluid ability to shift moods, the richness of his visual palette, and his idiosyncratic use of language fill these pages. His fourth book, Insomnia Diary is filled with Hicok’s characteristic edgy, brazen, provocative, and meditative poems.

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Bob Hicok is associate professor of English at Virginia Tech University. He is the author of This Clumsy Living, Insomnia Diary, Animal Soul (a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award), Plus Shipping, and The Legend of Light. Hicok is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, two NEA Fellowships, the Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Poetry Prize from the Library of Congress, the Felix Pollak Prize, the Jerome J. Shestack Prize, and four Pushcart Prizes. His poems have appeared in five volumes of Best American Poetry.
"Hicok is funny as hell, in Blake’s sense of the infernal: irreverent, anarchic, undeceived. His bracing ill humor is a vehicle for outrage, longing, tenderness, and a sly cynicism that is the necessary counterbalance to a tenacious sense of hope. He is one of our premiere anatomists of contemporary American life, and a wildly refreshing, necessary poet."—Mark Doty

"[Hicok] writes with an honest man’s happy discontent. . . . His poems stand on that inconvenient ground where the absurd and romantic visions battle for the voice and transmit the full joyful and afflicted human creature. He is one of the finest poets to have emerged in the last ten years."—Rodney Jones

"The sophisticated jester of these soliloquies, dumbfounded by the simplicity and complexity of life, is on a hang glider headed straight for Olympus."—Mary Ruefle

“In his fourth collection, Hicok writes with a newfound maturity and an appealing lack of obsession with self, examining the joys and pains (mostly pains) of ordinary others. “—Publishers Weekly

“The most potent ingredient in virtually every one of Bob Hicok’s compact, well-turned poems is a laughter as old as humanity itself, a sweet waggery that suggests there’s almost no problem that can’t be solved by this poet’s gentle humor.”—New York Times Book Review

“Hicok comes across as the smart, quiet guy in school that everybody listens to.” -------------- "The language is everywhere dynamic, varied, and surprising. And most surprising of all, there seems not to be a weak line in the entire book.”—Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 4/16/04 --------------- --Cold Mountain Review, Fall 2005

“Hicok’s style is so vivid, so wonderfully glib, that despite his theme or focus, what we admire about him isn’t what he writes about, but the way he writes about it. . . . The one thing I’ve always liked about all of Bob Hicok’s poetry is the way he shocks and muses, throws the reader back on his or her feet, makes him or her smile, and pulls us all into the absurdity of his poetic conceits. . . an admirable an talented poet.”—Mid-American Review

“In Insomnia Diary. . . the poet’s characteristically clever turns of phrase and self-depreciating humor are complemented by an added tenderness in both tone and subject matter. . . . It is Hicok’s ability to combine lyrical moments with statements of simple truth that gives Insomnia Diary its strength.”—Third Coast

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Pitt Poetry Series Table of Contents
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Bob Hicok’s poems are often edgy, brazen, and funny. They’re just as likely to be soulful, reflective, and provocative. Usually at the same time. As Hicok builds toward the punchline of a poem set up with his characteristic wit, he zigs into seriousness. A thoughtful meditation that builds to a moment of epiphany zags into comedy. Hicok’s fluid ability to shift moods, the richness of his visual palette, and his idiosyncratic use of language fill the pages of Insomnia Diary. The fourth collection of poetry from this former automotive die designer delivers more of the cunning brilliance that has become Hicok’s hallmark.
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