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John Skoyles

John Skoyles has published three books of poems, A Little Faith; Permanent Change; and Definition of the Soul, all with Carnegie-Mellon University Press. His work has appeared in many journals, including The Atlantic, Poetry, The American Poetry Review, Harvard Review, and Yale Review. He has taught at Sarah Lawrence College, Southern Methodist University, and Warren Wilson College, where he directed the MFA Program for Writers for eight years. He is a Professor in the Writing, Literature and Publishing Department at Emerson College.


Little God

Take a look, little god, at the pecked and smattered sill above the street where thin drunkards wrap their chests in a vest of old headlines. The slate ledge tilts toward the fire escape's homemade cross marking the death of our super who jumped to e [...]

Mop String

Everything in my hospital room remained photograph still during my two-week stay except for the inch of string pushed loose from the mop by the maid's exuberant sloshing. Pet-like, it hid in a new corner each day, dragged to the door by the surgeon's [...]

White Nights

   after a line by Montale There are those who live in the time that's touched them. They stay shocked by a death or a kiss and they won't walk away, won't speak from the heart, or stand too long near anyone. Love took them by surprise although th [...]