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image credit: Dominic Taylor/Limerick Writers’ Centre

KNUTE SKINNER lives in Killaspuglonane, County Clare, his home for the past fifty-five years. His poetry has appeared widely in Ireland, Britain, Australia and North America. He is the author of sixteen books of verse including a collected edition, Fifty Years: Poems 1957-2007, which appeared from Salmon. A memoir, Help Me to a Getaway, was published by Salmon in 2010.

Skinner’s most recent book is An Upside Down World, Salmon Poetry, 2019. 

“In some of the poems there is an undisclosed but implied secret that entreats the reader to return, to name what has been conflated and intuitively sussed, and to define the intriguingly elusive and alluring truth of the poem. There are very few books of poetry that you would run back into a burning building to retrieve. Make no mistake, An Upside Down World is one of them.”

Frank Golden

Some critical comments on Skinner’s poetry

“Skinner does the lot: the sacred, the profane, the formal and the loose, and does them all wonderfully well.”
–John W. Sexton, Poetry Ireland News

“As fine and engaging a testament to the complicated nature of simple pleasures as any in contemporary poetry.”
–Wayne Burroughs, Staple

“His mischievous eye never takes the ordinary for granted.”
–Jennifer Matthews, Southword

Skinner “works a seemingly homespun Gothicity which is yet quietly artful in the way it jolts the reader out of the even tenor of pleasant expectations.”
–Tom Hubbard, Poetry Ireland Review

“deliberate, radical, and scrupulous excising of lines and words until you are left with the bones of something entirely, uniquely, and mysteriously itself.”
Frank Golden, Southword

“He has poems that for sheer beauty take your head off. “
–John Gardner on A Close Sky over Killaspuglonane

“If you want to know how real poetry reads, buy this book, read it, and keep it.” 
–Leonard Blackstone on Selected Poems

“In a time when many poets cannot resist the grand gesture, Skinner’s art is the achievement of presence in the places we go to: in field, kitchen, bar, dictionary, anecdote, joke, love bower. ” 
–James Liddy on Learning to Spell “Zucchini”

“This is a stunning collection, full of mystery, cross-purposes, weird and tragic characters, and should be read from start to finish.” 
–Aidan Murphy on The Bears & Other Poems

“It’s worth whatever stretches might be required to put it into your personal library.” 
–Joseph Green on Stretches

Learn More


With a sample poem from each book

About Me

A brief biography

Contact Me

Killaspuglonane, County Clare, Ireland

Knute recites ‘A Useful Bench’ from his 2013 collection of poems, “Concerned Attentions”

video credit: Quentin Cooper