SECRET FREQUENCIES: A NEW YORK EDUCATION:
"John Skoyles is a wonderful storyteller, by turns hilarious
and street-smart and wise, and he hasn't forgotten what it
was like to grow up in the most urban of urban environments.
This is a fine and beautifully detailed book.
"A deeply engaging and funny book by a marvelous writer."
— Tracy Kidder
"A salty, entertaining coming-of-age story with a real-life
Sopranos cast. Skoyles' evocation of gritty, unhomogenized
Manhattan in the post-Beat era particularly won my heart."
— Joyce Johnson
"Though known as a poet, Skoyles brings a novelist's
poise and pace to Secret Frequencies. His characters emerge
fully formed and engage the reader's attention and sympathy.
He captures the enormous mystery and thrill of a young man
in the city."
— The New York Sun
"John Skoyles' memoir has the texture and humor of "Angela's
Ashes," offering an Italian-American boyhood in Queens
and coming of age in the Manhattan of the 1960s, as told by
a wonderfully generous, honest and vulnerable mid-life poet."
— The Boston Sunday Globe
“They say it doesn’t matter whether a good writer
is also a good person. John Skoyles is both, which makes all
the difference in this book, since its subject is nothing
less than how we live together. Elegantly written, wry, and
wise, Generous Strangers is a book to give, and, with luck,
to be given. John Skoyles has made a gift of himself.”
— James Carroll, author of An American Requiem, winner
of the National Book Award
“A compassionate and loving – and funny –
tribute to everyday life. I found a moment of grace in each
of John Skoyles’ richly textured stories.”
— Steven Lewis, author of Zen and the Art of Fatherhood
“John Skoyles’ poems are both witty and very serious.
He deals with the large contemporary contradictions in a language
that is specific, original and bitingly clear. Skoyles’
poetry is fascinating because he is clear-eyed but passionate,
sarcastic but grave, all at the same time.”
“In short lyrics that waste not a word, Skoyles reflects
on death, guilt, religion, and other central topics, with
metaphors as unusual as they are utterly right.”
"In Definition of the Soul, John Skoyles again displays
his talents for bull's eye images. In this and many other
poems here, Skoyles scrapes at the surface of everyday things
and finds a wonderful strangeness just underneath."
“Poems written with a receptive ear for music, a visceral
sense of rhythm, and a penetrating vision through the ordinary.”
— American Book Review
Skoyles' poems have a kind of racy urgency that reflects the
city's pace. They finish themselves in a page, tight and compact,
using the shortcut of simile, the quick bridge of humor. For
poems so full of linguistic playfulness, there is a surprising
accuracy of perception.”
— The Georgia Review
His lyric, compassionate and observant poems project simultaneously
a dignity and a modesty which is not quite like any other
— Puerto del Sol