The New York Time's Sunday Book Review looked at "The 6.5 Practices of Moderately Successful Poets" by Jeffrey Skinner and had wonderful things to say about his writing. I know his work as a student of his when I was 22 years old at the University of Louisville. I was fresh out of Ruth Stone's whimsical teaching and when I entered his class in Kentucky I switched gears from poetry to short fiction. He was there to mentor me and once told me, "Don't tell anyone I told you this, but you need to keep writing. Often, I don't encourage that of all students."
(My guess is he told everyone this)
Either way, I supported Jeff and Sarah Gorham's Sarabande Books while still in the classroom and often attended their readings. At times, they'd send poets to speak with my students.
I remember vividly attending a reading from the collection Last Call, a collection of writing of recovering addicts who were fighting through addictions and the power drugs and alcohol had over them. The writing was brilliant.
So, here's to you, Jeff...on a Tuesday morning, the last day of July in 2012.