The Never

, Dream Horse Press
Judith Skillman
MA, 1983
, 2010

Judith Skillman's "The Sister," which I accepted for Seneca Review earlier this year, was striking for recasting Cain as sister and memorably arresting for the feral fierceness of the portrait. Her other poems in The Never are equally astute, unsentimental and unflinching; her identification with the icons and motions of mythology, the armature for so many of the poems here, derive from their visceral passions. These poems sizzle with elemental directness and judgment, linguistically sharp and probing. Like the never which seems indistinguishable from the always, this book aims for elemental truths which give us the comfort of no-comfort. That makes poems in this collection something to trust. --David Weiss, Editor, Seneca Review Pay careful attention to the lines of Wheatland's: "to travel is to dream of dream is to revel in sleep is to travel inside the germ and the chaff." To read The Never is to venture into a mysterious world of the plain and the mystical, "the drape and pleat of hill and valley" that sustains us. --Tina Kelley, The Gospel of Galore 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 Skillman's was the first truly brilliant poem I ran across on my poetic journey, and I was in awe of the sheer skill of her line breaks, movement, and control... Much like Heather McHugh, Skillman is a 'poet's poet,' and to read her work makes me rejoice, as poet, in the possibilities of the art itself. --The Pedestal Magazine, Terri Brown-Davidson