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Salt Water Amnesia Paperback – January 1, 2005

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 120 pages
  • Publisher: Ausable Press; 1St Edition edition (January 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 193133725X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1931337250
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.5 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,784,245 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Quiet, thoughtful, sympathetic, and mostly in prose, the meditations in Skinner's fifth volume reflect on middle age, on the death of his father, and on his year living by the Connecticut shoreline, where commuter trains shoot past shopping centers and whitecaps, and "all language moves out to sea." One series of prose poems uses ski lifts and Styrofoam cups to comment on improvement. Another series memorializes Skinner's father by alternating painful remembered events with bleakly comic, dreamlike (or Russell Edson-like) fantasies: "I sewed my father into a specially designed, handmade bear suit." Skinner has edited a volume of poems about alcoholism and recovery, and co-edits Kentucky's Sarabande Press. His prose poems may strive too hard for calm and resolve, dialing their language down too far; they work best when he permits himself anger or humor (as in "Day One," which makes fun of famous writers who resolve to compose one poem per day). Skinner's few lineated poems are the best in the book: "The Climbers," "Darwin's Marathon," and a few others find the verbal energy, and the bitterness kept in check, that distinguished his standout Gender Studies (2002) and remind followers how sharp this poet's language can be. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


Salt Water Amnesia is one of the most engaging and original collections of poetry I have read this year. -- The Louisville Courier-Journal

This is a book I can read over and over again, delighting in rediscovering its visions and tang of slat. -- Vermont Review of Books --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Format: Paperback
In the same six-line stanza of "Widow's Walk," Skinner can write, "If the heart could think, it would stop...," and "Sleep, the book that reads us." You think you could write these lines, they are so simple and direct. Yet of course you can't. You're not a poet with Skinner's unique gift of plain language artfully used to articulate the common life. This is not revelation, but rather memory. Skinner continually brings to mind--brings back to mind--moments everyone has experienced physically or in thought, but has not had the time or made the effort to reflect much on. Thus, there is in these poems a sense of familiarity; which is one thing that leads one to wrongly believe one could write the same words Skinner does. Skinner leads one to familiarity with aspects of one's life, often aspects one has missed, sometimes neglected. Skinner is a seasoned, widely-published poet whose work has appeared in Poetry, Yale Review, Slate, Paris Review, and elsewhere.
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I've read and enjoyed other works by Jeff Skinner, but this is his best yet. These poems are fresh, clear, funny and sad. I highly recommend this book to all poetry lovers -- and even to folks who don't often read poetry.
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