Sail Skin: Poems.
Kris Ringman.
82 pages.
6 x 9 trade paperback.
ISBN: 978-1-941960-17-2

Available by November 15, 2022!

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Kris Ringman (she/they) is a deaf queer author, artist, and wanderer. They were born hearing with a late-deafened mother and gradually lost their own hearing by their early 20s. Kris spent two years living on sailboats in Block Island and Key West before the loss of their trimaran home. Their multicultural, lyrical fiction, and poetry plays along the boundaries of magical realism, fantasy, and horror. Kris is the author of two Lambda Literary finalist books: I Stole You: stories from the fae (Handtype Press, 2017) and Makara: a novel (Handtype Press, 2012), and the editor of Everyday Haiku: an anthology (Wandering Muse Press). They received their MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College and both their fiction and poetry have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. When they’re not writing, painting wild animal portraits, or making rune sets, they can be found on the ocean or in the mountains.

Weaving deftly among animals and shipwrecks in her debut poetry collection, Kris Ringman searches for a home both within and without her deafness.

“In structure, Sail Skin makes elements of animal, boat, death: each section puts the reader inside the skin of fox, water, a worm-ridden dog, moving the reader through profound connections and disconnections, each honored without looking away. In sensuous and exact language, we meet ancestors, shipwreck as metaphor and not, dog brothers, viscera as divinity first peeled then understood, ends of child-lives, the unbreakable love of familiars, beginnings of ecstasy and complicity, worlds within and without. Ringman’s level gaze and language embody mortal, flawed, vulnerable, sacred love in the poems’ clear, muscular lines. Here, too, voices of animals and humans both are seen and felt rather than heard, so what is spoken becomes a visual and visceral creed as much about passionate intimacy and union with this world as the existential aloneness of the limits of communication. Ringman’s is a voice you must steer by; fae and feral, wise and kind. Sail Skin is a treasure.” —Jessamyn Smyth, author of The Inugami Mochi and Gilgamesh Wilderness

“Kris Ringman’s Sail Skin reads like a haunting love letter to nature. The moment the speaker sees a tiger is ‘a gunshot.’ ‘A boat like a bird” rises and falls “between sea and sky ... with the ripples of their exchange.’ And at the heart of the book is the startling image of a boat with sails like ‘the thin membranes of wings.’ This is a most beautiful and magical book that explores the space between animals and humans, the inanimate and animate, the dead and alive.” —Sarah Katz, author of Country of Glass

Sail Skin projects a quiet fierceness and a yearning to more deeply ‘participate / in anyone’s death- / anyone’s life’; a passion and empathy for the foreign, for the other, despite some punishing consequences; and the mysteries revealed when the imagination is applied to the real, as if Ringman’s own life were a fragment of an ancient fairytale or myth-and not the romanticized kind. Open-eyed and reflective, Ringman leads us through relationships both tender and destructive-at times both at once, and the accumulating losses of loved ones, a floating home, a dress that symbolizes how we navigate our lives by the moon and stars. In Ringman’s poems, we’re given these potential shipwrecks of hope without sentimentality, through the lens of a still-unquenchable desire for a life large, up close, and intimate.” —Alice B. Fogel, New Hampshire Poet Laureate Emerita and author of Nothing But

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