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The Life That I Have

Knute Skinner

ISBN: 978-1-912561-14-8

Page Count: 80

Publication Date: Friday, April 20, 2018

Cover Artwork: The author, photographed by Karen Reyes at King John’s Castle, Limerick, in 1978

Click to play movie Knute Skinner reads "Madame De Vaux" from Chalk Dust (filmed by Quentin Cooper) play

About this Book

  Just standing here. 
  That’s all I’m doing.”  

So begins one poem in Knute Skinner’s latest collection, The Life That I Have. Like so many of these taut lyric-narratives, “Doing Nothing at All” affects a wry, rueful tone only to draw the reader toward the brink of some considerable existential, even metaphysical gravitas—as when a strong current runs below a seemingly placid surface so the reader hardly knows, at first, that they are quietly being swept away. Whether a couple at breakfast recollecting a first meeting, or a man confronting a life-quandary proposed by a half-eaten apple, or the poet himself considering the “thin hold” of a fallen limb on his garden’s cypress tree, the lives captured so intensively in Skinner’s poems never fail to glimpse and record the “fine print” of the soul. The flames confined behind the grate in his marvelous poem “The Fire” “would consume the world,” yet the poet recognizes “it is I who must bring the world to the fire.” Now nearing ninety, Knute Skinner for more than six decades has been doing just that to the fire of his imagination—vitally, consistently, indelibly.   

Daniel Tobin

Author Biography

Knute Skinner was born in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1929, but he has had a home in Ireland since 1963. In America he received a PhD from Iowa University, and he has taught English and creative writing at Iowa and at Western Washington University. Salmon Poetry has published nine previous books: eight poetry collections and a memoir. In addition, books and chapbooks of poetry have appeared from The Dolmen Press, Burton International, Northwoods Press, Aquila Press, Pierian Press, The Goliards Press, The Folly Press, Trask House Books, Pudding House Publications, Pavement Saw Press, and Lapwing Publications.  A limited edition of his poems, translated into Italian by Roberto Nassi, appeared from Damocle Edizioni, Chioggia, Italy. Skinner has conducted poetry workshops in Ireland and in America. He lives in Killaspuglonane, County Clare with his spouse, Edna Faye Kiel. 

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