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Unterberg Poetry Center

Jake Skeets

2018 Discovery / Boston Review

Jake Skeets is Black Streak Wood, born for Water’s Edge. He is Diné from Vanderwagen, New Mexico. His work appears or is forthcoming in Boston Review, Waxwing, Yellow Medicine Review and elsewhere. He holds an MFA in poetry from the Institute of American Indian Arts, is a member of Saad Bee Hózhǫ́: A Diné Writers’ Collective and teaches at Diné College in Tsaile, Arizona. His debut collection, Eyes Bottle Dark with a Mouthful of Flowers, for which he won the National Poetry Series, is forthcoming from Milkweed Editions in September 2019.

The poem and manuscript below were included in the printed program of the 2018 Discovery Winners’ Reading. “DL N8V 4 3SOME” was first published by Connotation Press.

  • 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

From the Winners’ Reading: “Dear Brother,” by Jake Skeets


Watch the 2018 Winners’ Reading.