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Titles 1998-2018

6.5 Habits of Moderately Successful Poets, Jeffrey Skinner


New York Times Editor's Choice

A private eye turned moderately successful poet leads readers on a satiric, hopeful tour of how to make a life in the arts, while still having a life. Sections include “The Silence of the Iambs,” “The Revisionarium,” “Ask Dr. Frankenpoem,” and “The Periodic Table of Poetic Elements.” Revealing, hilarious, and peppered with sly takes on the ins and outs of contemporary American poetry, Skinner offers advice, candor, and wit. 

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Additional Info

Jeffrey Skinner is the author of five books of poetry, most recently Salt Water Amnesia (Ausable Press, 2005), and two anthologies of poems, Last Call: Poems on Alcoholism, Addiction, and Deliverance; and Passing the Word: Poets and Their Mentors. Poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The Nation, The American Poetry Review, Poetry, BOMB, and The Paris Review, and his poems, plays, and stories have gathered grants, fellowships, and awards from such sources as the National Endowment for the Arts, The Ingram Merrill Foundation, the Howard Foundation, and the state arts agencies of Connecticut, Delaware, and Kentucky. 


“Skinner’s book takes advantage of its unusual format to convey fun, unexpected content. ‘Love of poems by others x Resistance to influence = Style’ sounds like something Susan Sontag might have written in her journals.... Skinner leaves no doubt that his love of the art is no infatuation. In addition to being a self-help, how-to and confession, The 6.5 Practices of Moderately Successful Poets is also — and perhaps most of all — a moving portrait of a marriage.”
The New York Times Book Review, Editor’s Choice

“The aspects of this book that make it stand-out are the charm and the honesty with which Skinner, sometimes in the same breath, both eviscerates and elevates poetry as a way of life.”
Boston Review

“Like a chatty series of essays and asides from a mentor or friend who knows a lot about the poetry world, or eavesdropping at the AWP hotel bar for several hours, The 6.5 Habits of Moderately Successful Poets amuses, entertains, and gives new writers challenges and guidance in a field that’s tricky to navigate and often frustratingly opaque.”
The Rumpus