Skeleton, Skin And Joy by Charles Atkinson


Charles Atkinson is an unblinking witness—a scrupulous poet and hospice volunteer, serving and honoring those at the end of life. These are stories of loss and, at the same time, celebrations of life itself. Skeleton, Skin and Joy—it’s all there in the title. Savor this end-of-life truth-telling by a compassionate and veteran lyricist.

Robert Sward, Poet Laureate of Santa Cruz County


The poems in this collection help us to really feel what it’s like to be with the dying—a taboo subject in our culture. Charles Atkinson’s work is a gift to us, shining a light—sometimes gently, sometimes starkly—on the reality we all walk: our journey in life, towards death. This poetry touches the heart of what it means to be human.

Forbes Ellis, M.A., MFT, Hospice Director


“Dreamer at the Helm,” Charles Atkinson‘s elegy at the center of Skeleton, Skin and Joy, is among the finest poems I know. I return to it again and again. Yes, the poem is about end-of-life care—but like the collection itself, the poem sings out its fierce love for this life, this earth. Here is the truth and tenderness we long for in poems.

Ken Weisner, Anything on Earth



Skeleton, Skin And Joy

by Charles Atkinson

$14.99, paper

Charles Atkinson’s collection, The Only Cure I Know (San Diego Poets Press), received the American Book Series award for poetry; a chapbook, The Best of Us on Fire, won the Wayland Press competition.  A third volume, Because We Are Men, was awarded the Sow’s Ear Poetry Chapbook Prize. His most recent collections are Fossil Honey, from Hummingbird Press, and World News, Local Weather, from Finishing Line Press.


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