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Rerun: West reviews Keith Flynn’s “The Skin of Meaning”

Saturday Review: Secure Invitations” a review by Robert M. West of Keith Flynn’s The Skin of Meaning: Poems.

Until our next online issue is ready this fall, we’re running some reruns of older book reviews for authors whose latest work is recently published or will be out soon.

Poet/Spoken Word Artist/Musician Keith Flynn‘s latest work, Prosperity Gospel, is out now. In this review by Robert West from 2021, he says about Flynn’s last book, The Skin of Meaning: “In other words, if you’re looking for neoclassical argument, dry stand-up comedy, or inspirational pablum, look elsewhere.”

West covers much ground in this review, not only noting reference material from Picasso to Basquiat and everyone in between, but also calls out dozens of specific poems from the collection. West ends his review with “And one of the book’s very best poems, “Prayer,” combines its maker’s interest in nature
and culture, identifying the Italian valley where grow the spruces from which the finest violins are
made, and ending with an image that’s quite satisfying indeed:

A single man
fingering the strings
in the Dolemites
the reverent limbs
of the lovely spruce
making a song
that the wood
can recognize
as the new violins
are forming
in the ageless
swaying trunks

“How to respond to writing of such imagination and beauty? With gratitude.”

Listen to Flynn with NC Poetry Society President Celestine Davis (2022) discuss music and poetry. And don’t forget to submit your performance poetry for the Jaki Shelton Green Performance Poetry Contest by April 30!

Read the rest of the review in the ’21 Online issue and buy the book.