About the Book
John Foy’s newest collection is a tour de force of formal poetry, offering a blend of wit, cleverness, and deftness. Working in the lineage of poets like Billy Collins, Robert Frost, Frank O’Hara, W. H. Auden, and Elizabeth Bishop, Foy probes everyday experiences to generate compassionate, clever, and deeply knowing verse. Foy satirizes various elements of contemporary society, reflecting on war, wandering through the Museum of Sex in New York with his wife, and plucking apart idiomatic speech, which he breaks down, saying “It is what it is. / It’s not what it might have been.” Influenced by pop art and fine art and his New York home, which forms the backdrop of many of these poems, Foy’s vibrant collection is simultaneously philosophical, whimsical, serious, and searching.
Praise for No One Leaves the World Unhurt
Though Foy examines life through the lens of pain, the hurt we inflict on each other and the world, he allows all the humor, love, faith, and knowledge that come with that pain to permeate his poetry. That nuance creates an honest account of living and opens his poems to wisdom that at times seems contradictory, but only in the way that we are all contradictions of our past selves. The book’s title is an undeniable truth. No one leaves the world unhurt, but Foy’s poetry also shows us that we and the world can and often do heal together.
—Joshua Eric Williams, Literary Matters
Foy writes about this world, this moment we’re living in, but with a firm footing in the past and a powerful command of traditional forms which he bends and remakes to his own uses. No One Leaves The World Unhurt offers an open-eyed view of life, of what it is, of what it can be, of how it will end: “an act of God that leaves me in the cold.”
—Megan Neery, Cleveland Review of Books
No One Leaves the World Unhurt serves brilliantly as both apt title and sage reminder, it’s equally impossible to leave John Foy’s new book without
also feeling amused, enlightened, and deeply moved.
—Ned Balbo, Alabama Literary Review
Foy’s subject is pain… cage the demons in rhyme and meter—rise above suffering to the formal speaking of suffering—and we can carry on.
—Robert Archambeau, The Hudson Review
Taking aggressive advantage of the imaginative freedom that poetry offers, Foy breaks into some frightening places here, including the brutality of war, the terrors of the future, his own dead body, and the “cracked house of his mind.” This edginess is skillfully balanced by Foy’s formalist aptitudes, with inventive rhyming and sonnet skills on inconspicuous display. Still, the brash energy of the poems prevails. If some of them could drive themselves down Main Street, they would turn a lot of heads.
—Billy Collins, author of The Rain in Portugal