Are you a starving artist? Do the pages of your life’s work stare at you with a blank, slightly sinister eggshell grimace that taunts the dry, rattling bones of your creative spring? Can no steroid cream cure your ailments? Is there no semi-precious demi-god that $59.99 and a VISA can summon on Sybil’s command? Allow my violin of sympathy to play for you, my friend. As National Poetry Month waxes gently in this merry Spring, many of us languishing in our own personal pits of prose despair can only sneeze mournfully as poetry’s pollen fertilizes the masses (that was an odd metaphor, wasn’t it?). But fear not! Joust with your inner literary demons! Anon comes relief from one of our own. Louisville poet Jeffrey Skinner extends a clever, cunning and – yes – helpful literary band-aid with his newest release, The 6.5 Practices of Moderately Successful Poets: A Self-Help Memoir. Join him this Thursday, April 5th, at Carmichael’s Bookstore for a witty and poetic pick-me-up.
A current professor of Creative Writing at the University of Louisville , poet, playwright and story-teller Jeffrey Skinner is more than familiar with the bumps and brutality (and bloodshed – yes, that too) of the creative process. Skinner is the author of five books of poetry, including his most recent Salt Water Amnesia, as well as the anthologies Last Call: Poems on Alcoholism, Addiction, and Deliverance and Passing the Word: Poets and Their Mentors. His work has graced the pages of publications such as The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The Nation, The American Poetry Review, Poetry, BOMB and The Paris Review and has garnered the attention of numerous fellowships, grants and awards. This sound of collection includes nods from the National Endowment for the Arts, The Ingram Merrill Foundation, the Howard Foundation and the state agencies of Connecticut, Delaware and at home in the Bluegrass.
Skinner’s latest venture – brought to life by none other than Sarabande Books – 6.5 Practices opens the broad spectrum of Skinner’s own life as a poet to lead readers on a satirical and hopeful path towards success with that most auspicious mistress, The Arts. Using an investigative prowess no doubt garnered from his roots as a private eye (actual fact), Skinner uses The 6.5 Practices of Moderately Successful Poets to reveal the ins and outs of contemporary American poetry and offers both cleverness and advice to the next generation of young wordsmiths scratching at the gates of achievement.
Don’t miss your opportunity (unless you have the classwork prerequisites and money to attend ENGL 202 or 403  at UofL this Fall) to experience Skinner’s life, work and wit with a dash of how-to at Carmichael’s. Join him at the Frankfort Avenue store starting at 7pm as he reads from 6.5 Practices and pens signatures. The 6.5 Practices of Moderately Successful Poets: A Self-Help Memoir is on sale now in paperback at both stores for $15.95 – that and maybe four or five espressos might be all you need to birth the next bestseller.
Carmichael’s Bookstore has two area locations: 1295 Bardstown Road and 2720 Frankfort Avenue. For more information about Jeffrey Skinner and his books, visit the event page or call the Frankfort Avenue Store at (502) 896-6950
Image: Courtesy of Carmichael’s Bookstore website www.carmichaelsbookstore.com