Friday, April 05, 2013
New Ibbetson Street Press Poetry Release: Flying Cats (actually swooping) by Dan Sklar
Dan Sklar Professor of Creative Writing at Endicott College has a new collection of poetry forthcoming:
Flying Cats ( actually swooping)
The refreshing thing about Sklar’s poetry is that it’s not that carefully worked-over, avant-garde, conundrum, riddle-twisted work that is less interested in getting across ideas and emotions than puzzling and impressing the reader. Sklar is Mr. Tell-It-As-It-Is. Which he himself is very aware of: My poems/do not win/poetry awards/because/they re/not poems/at all.
Which is not to say that they don’t move, touch you, and communicate. By getting rid of all the technique games and getting to the human heart of things, Sklar is one of the most successful communicators around. His topics include the inner Thoreau, horses, funerals, war, bicycles, rain, aging, sex, opera, canoes (and the Iroquois), truck accidents....and there’s not a poem, story, or play in this book that you can stop reading once you’ve read the first line. Unreadable poets should take a course in Sklar, get readable, read this book.
—Hugh Fox, Founding editor of the Pushcart Prize
Fans of European 19th century verse, thick with symbolism and multi-syllabic, will find little to love in Dan Sklar’s work. Sklar’s poetry could be characterized as American Primitive, clean and bracing as creek water. Like Whitman, Sklar celebrates the mystery and profundity of the everyday. This is “guy” poetry, muscularly chronicling the days and to-do list of the contemporary American male, helplessly and joyfully committed to the challenges of raising a houseful of boys, teaching sleepy-eyed college students, and handling the ignominies of manuscript rejection letters. Sklar’s poems tumble and sing with enormously universal appeal.
—Lisa Beatman, Author of Manufacturing America
I say to the woman tonight out of the blue: “You know what I liked about that guy yesterday? He didn’t appear at all jealous or even slightly worried I might be better than him (whatever that means)… and in front of his students.” Dan, you’re a person who is self-assured and in a very good, rare and unpretentious way.
-- G. Todd Slone—The American Dissident
Ibbetson St. Press
25 School St.