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image credit: Dominic Taylor/Limerick Writers’ Centre

Knute Skinner lives in Killaspuglonane, County Clare, his home for the past thirty-eight 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 Against All Odds, Lapwing Publications, 2016. 

“These poems are little people-bombs, always semi weird, a bit naked. Relaxed too, but that may be the way Skinner tells them.”
–Michael O’Connor
“poems that are enigmatic and deeply compelling… These poems deserve a wide readership. They deserve acclaim.”
–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

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

video credit: Quentin Cooper

the lives captured so intensively in Skinner’s poems never fail to glimpse and record the “fine print” of the soul. The flames confined behind the grate in his marvelous poem “The Fire” “would consume the world,” yet the poet recognizes “it is I who must bring the world to the fire.” Now nearing ninety, Knute Skinner for more than six decades has been doing just that to the fire of his imagination—vitally, consistently, indelibly.
– Daniel Tobin