Dream Horse Press

The Phoenix: New and Selected Poems: 2007 - 2013

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Judith Skillman's The Phoenix: New and Selected Poems: 2007 - 2013

ISBN 978-1-935716-32-7

Special Offer in cooperation with Lummox Press: Buy The Phoenix: New and Selected Poems: 2007 - 2013 AND Judith Skillman's Broken Lines: The Art and Craft of Poetry for $30:

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Praise for The Phoenix: New and Selected Poems: 2007 - 2013


No detail is too quotidian to escape the dream catcher of this poet's imagination. Drawing on sources as various as Native American lore, Eastern European folktales, classical literature, Shakespearean tragedy, pop culture icons, childhood fantasies and dreams, along with her own considerable powers of invention, Skillman presents us with a psychological landscape as diverse as contemporary American experience. While the starting point of many of these poems is isolated, personal experience—a breast biopsy, a mislaid set of keys—the personal here becomes collective. This drive to mythologize experience becomes for poet Judith Skillman the allembracing, energetic, ongoing, many-storied project of a lifetime.
 Belle Randall


"…Judith Skillman’s dense, fragmentary images, her directness in speaking to the reader, and her interest in interweaving Greek mythology with everyday life put me in mind of the work of Sappho of Lesbos, one of the Western world’s most celebrated women poets."
JoSelle Vanderhooft


"…Few poets seize the natural world in the tender, particular ways that poet Judith Skillman does… For a poet who sees this world as does Skillman, nature’s beauty and cruelty is ours as well."
Chicago Sun-Times Book Review


"Judith Skillman’s ability to wring emotional value from mundane encounters in the concentration of an image, the brush stroke of a narrative, teaches me poetry’s ever widening sweep and mystical scope, echoing dogma by simultaneously escaping it into the eternal realm of wild beauty."Michael Daley


  About the Author:

Judith Skillman was born in Syracuse, New York, of Canadian parents, and holds dual citizenship. She is an amateur violinist, the mother of three grown children, and the “Grammy” of twin girls. She holds a Masters in English Literature from the University of Maryland, and has taught at University of Phoenix, Richard Hugo House, City University, and Yellow Wood Academy.

The recipient of an award from the Academy of American Poets for her book Storm (Blue Begonia Press), Skillman’s also been awarded a King County Arts Commission (KCAC) Publication Prize, Public Arts Grant, and Washington State Arts Commission Writer’s Fellowship. Two of her books were finalists for the Washington State Book Award (Red Town and Prisoner of the Swifts). Skillman’s poems have appeared in Poetry, FIELD, The Southern Review, The Iowa Review, The Midwest Quarterly, Prairie Schooner, Seneca Review, and many other journals and anthologies.

Ms. Skillman has been a Writer in Residence at the Centrum Foundation in Port Townsend, Washington, and The Hedgebrook Foundation. At the Center for French Translation in Seneffe, Belgium, she translated French- Belgian poet Anne-Marie Derèse. A Jack Straw Writer in 2008 and 2013, Skillman’s work has been nominated for Pushcart Prizes, the UK Kit Award, Best of the Web, and is included in Best Indie Verse of New England. For more information, visit www.judithskillman.com


  From The Phoenix: New and Selected Poems: 2007 - 2013:





I like the swirl of colors, enameled,
inlaid, in leaves falling early,
the compartments of sky and water,
the rooftops neatly hammered into place
beyond news of an infant whose heart
murmur indicates something larger.

I like the gauze screens covering dirty
glass panes, through which I see floaters
rising and falling like silver wires
in my eyes. The geode slices perched
in the window glitter like gemstones,
their opaque centers lit by noon-light.

There is a voice behind the voice,
a light behind the light—even, perhaps,
some vitreous presence in the kiln
that sits on four legs like a lion,
inside the porch of memory.
There the temperature rises, and I remain

protected by the same thick walls
that protect me from bad news.
I like the sadness each harbor contains,
vessels bobbing with white triangles
cut from sailcloth. I think
I was outfitted in images, jewels

and clothes to catch something else
with my bowl, its nine colors
of enamel holding words, birds,
petals, snakes, ivy. Its suspicious
hearts wrought in blue and red, the lattice
edge finished with gold filigree.



The Phoenix: New and Selected Poems: 2007 - 2013

Copyright © 2013 Judith Skillman

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