News Muse


News Muse

By Laura Nicholson
News Muse book cover

What do you get when you take some of the world’s strangest news events and add the wittiness, humor and talent of author Vala Hafstad? The answer is News Muse: Humorous Poems Inspired by Strange News, the debut book from native Icelander, Vala.

Consisting of 40 short poems, News Muse is a perfect companion on a rainy day, curled up with a warm drink or when you need a small pick-me-up and a laugh. The book could be read quickly, but I preferred to read only a few poems at a time to add a little extra humor to my day.

If you enjoy current events and keeping up with international headlines, then News Muse would be a welcome addition to your book collection. Vala writes poems about some of the most outlandish popular news stories, like Applicants Wanted for a One-Way Ticket to Mars, to those that weren’t as widely publicized such as Zoo Seeks Mate for Last Surviving ‘Gorgeously Ugly’ Fish.

It’s difficult to choose a favorite poem, but Lost and Found stands out as most entertaining. In August 2012, Iceland Review ​published an article entitled Lost Woman Looks for Herself in Iceland’s Highlands, where a foreign tourist was reported missing from her tour bus but happened to be on the bus the entire time (she had simply changed clothes) and even participated in the search for herself. Vala captures the humor and bizarre nature of the story by writing: “And often our mind will not rest/ For we can be truly distressed/ If we cannot find what is lost / A search for oneself can exhaust. / This happened to someone I know/ To Iceland alone, did she go/ She walked off her bus dressed in black/ But wore something red coming back.”

Each poem is so thoughtful and creatively written and Vala has a way with words that will leave her readers longing for more. Her sense of humor shines through and it’s evident she thought about each word so that every line perfectly rhymed with the one previous. I highly recommend News Muse if you are looking for a good laugh or are simply looking to be shocked by strange news stories.


News Muse is available on

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