Poetry. "I have been drawn to Judith Skillman's work for three decades, ever since her first book, Worship of the Visible Spectrum. In her latest volume, she inhabits the mind of Franz Kafka, as well as some of those who loomed large in his life: family members, would-be sweethearts, his editors. We thus see the world in the outré, off-kilter way that Kafka seems to have—as if the lenses of his eyes worked differently than most people's, letting in a light that few can focus. In KAFKA'S SHADOW, he sees edges that others don't, edges that cut him off from taking part in 'normal' life—pleasing his father, marrying, performing work that others consider productive. Skillman's use of internal rhyme in many of these poems exemplifies how Kafka's world, while being initially recognizable as our own, resonates on another frequency, bringing music sharp and unfamiliar to our ears. This book gives us a deeper knowledge of Kafka as a person and artist, of his times and difficulties in finding his place. Though he loved peonies, we see the thistles that grew around him."—Michael Spence, author of Umbilical, winner of The New Criterion Poetry Prize
"Reading Skillman's poems, I felt more acutely my own desire to be fully alive, the pressing realities of beauty and loss."—John Amen, editor of The Pedestal Magazine
"...readers will encounter the intelligence and honesty of the real thing."—Brendan Galvin
"Skillman's ability to accommodate multiple meanings in even the most seemingly straightforward of sentences is like being pushed by a doppelganger who insists we jump beyond obvious interpretations."—Christianne Balk, author of The Holding Hours, UW Poetry Series
"An enviable collection of free verse on one of the most enduring writers of the 20th century, Franz Kafka, gives a look into the life of this writer as well as his family and the culture of his times. A figure most of us know only by reputation takes on a breathing, contemporary aspect based on extensive research by a widely respected award winning American poet. The craftsmanship of the collection is to be savored." —Carol Smallwood
Judith Skillman is author of sixteen collections of poetry, including CAME HOME TO WINTER, PREMISE OF LIGHT, KAFKA'S SHADOW, HOUSE OF BURNT OFFERINGS, and The Phoenix: New & Selected Poems. She is the recipient of an Eric Mathieu King Fund Award from the Academy of American Poets for her book Storm (Blue Begonia Press). Her poems have appeared in Poetry, Shenandoah, Prairie Schooner, Zyzzyva, Nasty Women Poets, and numerous other journals and anthologies. Ms. Skillman has been a Writer in Residence at the Centrum Foundation in Port Townsend, Washington. Her essays appear in Women on Poetry, edited by Carol Smallwood. A 'how to,' Broken Lines—The Art & Craft of Poetry, was published by Lummox Press in 2013. She has taught humanities at City University and Yellow Wood Academy, and poetry at the Richard Hugo House. Her passion for collaborative translation can be seen in Hawai'i Review's poems of Macedonian Poet Jovica Eternijan, and in the chapbook Anne-Marie Derése in Translation & The Green Parrot (Ahadada Books). A Jack Straw Writer in 2008 and 2013, Judith'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.
Author City: SEATTLE, WA USA