Skillman's poems have appeared in Cimarron Review, Seneca Review, FIELD, Poetry, The Iowa Review, J Journal, Midwest Quarterly Review, The Southern Review, Prairie Schooner, Shenandoah, and other journals and anthologies. She is also the author of Broken Lines--The Art & Craft of Poetry.
"Skillman’s writing is complex and shrouded, driven by a speaker or speakers determinedly grasping for life or at least survival despite dread of a still-living and often undetectable adversary. In this way, House of Burnt Offerings invokes a vivid, contained, and upsetting poetic world that a reader agrees to enter, similar to the House of Mirrors at the small-town carnival."
--from The Pedestal Magazine's review of House of Burnt Offerings, by Ann Wehrman
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, o -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 o 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 examples 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, 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, Habitat: New and Selected Poems 1965-2005
. . . 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, The Holding Hours, UW Poetry Series