Gabriel Hart at the LARB:
One of the strangest, most audacious winks Fear of Kathy Acker bestows is the fact that its contents have little to do with her. Yet Skelley pays substantial tribute to Acker in his introduction, pointing to his own literary puberty in which she was a catalyst: “[H]er vastly funny, scary, sexy portals to expression opened at a susceptible period. […] It was a nascent and fertile moment when Kathy, at the peak of her powers, disrupted me, erupted in me.” After hearing the chapbook discussed on the radio in the 1980s, Acker sent Skelley a postcard that would become a crowning endorsement of the work: “[D]espite my dislike of seeing my own name I think you’re a good writer […] Never what’s expected,” she wrote.
About one-fourth of FOKA’s 135 pages consists of commentary by poet Amy Gerstler, author/critic Sabrina Tarasoff, and Skelley himself, taking the rare opportunity to fully contextualize his work.