Reviews in major publications will be posted as they come in.
Fonseca’s second collection of poems (after This Enduring Gift), organized into seven sections, displays a clear writing style scored with tenderness and splashes of humor. The poems capture pivotal moments in relationships and point to the thread that connects humankind and the divine. Fonseca tackles adult subjects, such as alcoholism, a father-daughter relationship, and separation, with a confessional quality. Some of the collection’s poems have a theme and style that will appeal to a younger audience—“Sunset Blues” has traditional rhyme and rhythms, and “Fireworks” opens with an exciting “pow, ka-BOOOOM, fizzzz”—but both poems go deeper to address taking stock of oneself.
The collection begins to shine in the third section. Humor and creativity meld in the poetic fable of the title poem, which quips, “God retired and Angels sang Him to sleep.” When Fonseca turns his attention to the mundane, his poems pack concentrated power. The two depictions of a quiet, residential street in “Small Town Routine–One View” and “Small Town Routine–A Different View” reveal how the attitudes held by two neighbors colors how each one reacts to a commotion on their street. The clear images will give readers a chuckle. Anyone who has regretted lending a book to a friend will understand the passionate attachment described in “Long-Lost Books.”
Fonseca’s experience curating the Candlelight Reading Series is reflected in the flow of his poems, which take on an added texture when read aloud. This collection carries readers to Greece, Trinidad, and Brazil as well as several periods of history, as in “My Creole Belle,” which depicts a 19th-century cakewalk pageant. Modern poetry fans will delight in these poems, which capture the emotions of intimate and public moments.
Takeaway: This splendid collection attracts modern poetry readers with playful language and evocative imagery.
Great for fans of A.R. Ammons, Gary Snyder, Li-Young Lee.
—BookLife Reviews, July 2020
Here is the collection of poetry I have waited for all my life — Freddy Niagara Fonseca’s The Bomb That Blew Up God. At last, poems that satisfy both critical mind and longing soul. Bold exquisite, rich language and brilliant awake treatments breathe life into worthy themes — nature, seasons, home, memory, dance, death, music, poetry, contentment. The great triumph of Fonseca’s poetry is sustained momentum blending image with observation to inexorably open the reader to unbounded awareness, where every reader wants to be. Fonseca’s poems entertain!
— Burton Milward, Jr., retired attorney, author, radio show host
I loved this vast, complex, yet simple book of wonderful poetry. It is a work of brilliance and honest perception and even more honesty is in the author’s presentation. I recommend this book of sublime intensity to any true reader searching for the power and beauty of language that still exists today…
—Rudy Wilson, National Award Winning Author of several novels
This poetry is so affecting, its rhythms and lyrics so compelling, I become a better person and appreciate living more than before.
— George Foster, book cover designer
If you have the slightest shred of happiness within you, no matter how deeply it may be buried, reading his poetry will unearth, amplify and galvanize it till you are flying on the wings of his euphoria. Your soul and heart will be dancing from the first verses to the last.
— Carol Olicker, bereavement support group facilitator, poet
Drawing from a wide cultural background, Freddy Niagara Fonseca, skips, dances and delights his way through this wonderful collection of poems.
—Tony Ellis, author of There is Wisdom in Walnuts
Here is a highly educated mind, taking from a thorough familiarity with the forms of poetry only what fits most fluidly to his purpose.
—Karla Christensen, poet, muralist, illustrator, Ecuador
This collection of works is distinctive – certainly original and eclectic, deeply sobering and uniquely stylized.
—Rodney Charles, author of the bestselling Every Day A Miracle Happens
What a variety of emotions in these poems! Some whimsical and calling to be read aloud, some elegantly musical with a touch of Shakespeare.
—Jeffrey Moses, Author of Oneness: Great Principles Shared by All Religions
This impressive volume is one that we can pick up at bedtime and open any page for mind travel. We are reminded that we are part of the world of nature.
—Gretchen Langstaff Schaffer, dancer, BA Fine Arts in Dance The Juilliard School
From the seductions of dance to the secrets of creation, Fonseca has prepared a banquet of verse … a transcendent explosion of creative joy and wry humor.
—Debra Smith, Educational Kinesiologist, Watercolorist, Potter, Poet
He lives outside of the comfortable boundaries we are accustomed to but his poetry brings things back from wherever he is. I would say, ‘Just open the book.’
—Ron Ringsrud, Author of Emeralds: A Passionate Guide
The Bomb That Blew Up God is at times whimsical, sobering, always illuminating.
—The Culture Buzz, John Busbee, founder and producer
This poetry is truly transformational. Moving a person emotionally, helping them to adopt new perceptions, and facilitating changes in perspective is an art in psychotherapy. Fonseca’s poems accomplish exactly that. Hence it seems as if he is not only an accomplished and master poet but a closet psychotherapist as well. :-).
—John Edgette, Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology, and Author of The Handbook of Hypnotic Phenomena in Psychotherapy
Colors explode, surprises abound, twists and turns and excursions into seemingly unrelated (to me) areas that all seem to end up in a magnificent whole that in the end leaves me in an unfamiliar and fascinating space.
—Brad Moses, singer songwriter, recording artist, arranger
At times, the poems closest to prose exhibit the finest fluency; “Kaleidoscope” is a case in point. The language flows easily, one sentence per verse, no syntactical puzzles, no obscurity. Some of his works clamor to be sung, performed, danced out into a throng of celebrants at some unspecified bacchanal.
—Allen Cobb, composer, photographer, sculptor, inventor, essayist, and poet
I could not stop. When each poem ended, I was compelled to read the next. Each poem touched me with a recognition of something strong within myself, joy, fear, surety, joy again.
—Michael Borden, architect and author of Vastu Architecture, New Zealand
Like music and dance, the poems sing and express a rhythm that connects them to all the arts. There is balance and charm, rhythm and harmony, everything needed to create an entertaining and enlightened read.
—John Schirmer…… forty years a print maker, painter, and sculptor
I’m amazed by the power and gripping beauty of his prayer like poetry. How could a mere mortal be so descriptive, the senses so real?
—James Dean Claitor, former film producer and freelance writer
What can I say about these stunning poems? The poet himself came to my rescue: On page 103 I found: After Reading an Obscure Volume of Unusual Poetry.
—Angela Mailander, Professor Emerita of Comparative Literature, Jiangsu University of Science and Technology, P.R. China
His poem “Antarctica” begins with an exploration of geographical extremes, from the ice and cold of Antarctica to the greenness and warmth of Trinidad. But as we move with the poet deeper into his poem, we notice that terrestrial geography becomes a metaphor for exploring his geography of the soul.
—James L. Shead, technical writer, retired
These poems seem to glow on the page….a lyrical journey to places, through seasons of life; birth, death and beyond.
—Judy LaMar, painter
Commenting on Olé, Bolero – A Fiesta in Sevilla: Great poem, such gusto and wonderful play, celebrating the sexuality and sensuality of the language that conveys it; —all those great names and Spanish words. Bravo.
—Craig Deininger, PhD, Assistant Professor of Creative Writing, Maharishi International University
Commenting on Books: It captures the spiritual dimension of reading and writing, and the connection to eternity that we make through books. I’ve often had the same feelings – the multitude of books overwhelms me with awareness of my mortality and yet at the same time connects me to something immortal. Nice job.
—Jendi Reiter, editor of WinningWriters.com and author of Bullies in Love and Two Natures