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Unterberg Poetry Center

Jake Skeets

2018 Discovery Winner Jake Skeets is Black Streak Wood, born for Water’s Edge. He is Diné from the Navajo Nation. He holds an MFA from the Institute of American Indian Arts. His work appears or is forthcoming in Boston Review, Waxwing, Yellow Medicine Review, and elsewhere. He currently resides in the Navajo Nation where he edits Cloudthroat, an online publication, and organizes Pollentongue, a poetry salon and reading series. His debut collection, Eyes Bottle Dark with a Mouthful of Flowers, for which he won the National Poetry Series, is forthcoming from Milkweed Editions. 

Below are Jake Skeets’s poem “DL N8V 4 3SOME” and a draft of that poem, originally printed in the Winners’ Reading program May 10, 2018, as well as a video excerpt of his reading from that night.

  • DL N8V 4 3SOME

    Cries through his hands echoed
                thunder palmed by sky.
    Our dark limbs, roll clouds
     
    heavy over mid-May snow.
    Stretch marks spider down to hip,
     
    lightning bolts against the ice
    on his sheets beneath us. Gasps
                for air between the cries
     
    were his fists, punching holes
                            in every wall.
  • Manuscript page

Jake Skeets reads “Dear Brother”