Frank O’Hara is alive and well and living in Brooklyn in the body of a woman who sings vibratory odes to the deep conditioning of language’s ability to keep us company on nights both hot and cold. In-between back channels and side projects, Emily Skillings' poems shine clear, “skillfully point(ing) at something / by connecting it to a term," climbing out into our thoughts both mod and physical, making the poem a very holdable object
Lee Ann Brown
Emily Skillings's new collection of poems, Backchannel, is packed with sophisticated surprises. Her poems are delightful meditative mantra loops that leave me laugh-gasping with her ability to tickle and stab at the very same time. Skillings writes of canaries, shitsponges, bacteria rafts, and a site in Alaska known as "Dispersed Media Steepletop." Who could ask for anything more? This chapbook is a funny and fierce debut worthy of your attention and love.
Skillings reinvigorates the familiar, disrupting common images and expressions in stark and bizarre ways. By distorting images of a shooting, suffering, distance, intimacy, and the sky as part surreal, Skillings paradoxically allows her reader to see them clearly.
Emily Skillings is a dancer and poet. Her chapbook, Linnaeus: The 26 Sexual Practices of Plants is forthcoming from No, Dear/ Small Anchor Press. Skillings dances for the A.O. Movement Collective and The Commons Choir (Daria Faïn and Robert Kocik) and presents her own choreography in New York. She lives in Brooklyn, where she is a member of the Belladonna* Collaborative, a feminist poetry collective and event series. She recently co-curated the exhibit “John Ashbery Collects: Poet Among Things” with Adam Fitzgerald at Loretta Howard Gallery. This fall she will begin her graduate studies at Columbia University.
Hand sewn, letterpressed, 5.25" x 8.5"