In A Strange Insomnia, grief is turned to beauty and back again to grief, and finally opens to mystery. Christina Cook’s attention in these poems exerts a gentle and steady pressure upon the world of surfaces and changing light. Her precise eye examines the world and finds all interwoven. Things are what they are... and something more. This poetry returns us to a faith in the world’s beauty which we are not meant to possess but can never do without.
— Cynthia Huntington
“Designed to deceive, appearances // leave all to the imagination, / while imagination leaves nothing to chance”—these exquisite poems by Christina Cook display a mastery of imagination and music, a force that derives not from an outpour of emotions, but of the tenderness of an “elegant wreckage,” a wisdom that praises life and its splendor. There are delicate and compassionate lyrics of grief and healing, interspersed by timely meditations and questionings about an “ageless self”: “When my face is most in shadow, I find the moon / to be the dark epitome of itself: // soon to start over from zero, / becoming the answer, which I am // to the question, which I also am.” A Strange Insomnia is an accomplished work of art whose quiet speaks through lush imagery and an abiding faith in wonder.
— Fiona Sze-Lorrain
The poems of Christina Cook’s A Strange Insomnia run electric and earthy. With imagistic lushness, Cook proffers the natural world as both a threat and source of comfort, moving through grief and loss while always seeking redemption. These poems are most certainly “charmed/by life.” Any reader will also becharmed.
— Jennifer Militello
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Christina Cook’s previous publications include Ricochet (Casa de Cinco Hermanas Press, 2016) and Lake Effect (Finishing Line Press, 2012, winner of the Jean Pedrick Chapbook Prize). Her poetry, essays, reviews, and translations have appeared widely in journals. Christina works as a writer at the University of Pennsylvania.
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