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Twenty Questions for Robbie Dunkle

Poetry, Wick Chapbook


“Inspired by the story of Secundus the Silent Philosopher and the twenty vital questions posed to him by Emperor Hadrian, J. Gabriel Scala’s Twenty Questions for Robbie Dunkle moves swiftly and deftly into the essence of human existence—memory. Imbued with that ancient consideration, Robbie Dunkle emerges as a chance metaphor for the poet’s own past, the dead past, which becomes our past, with all of its wonders and wastes, which only brilliant poetry can revive this powerfully.”—Larissa Szporluk

“J. Gabriel Scala’s series of unanswerable questions to seventh-grade companion Robbie Dunkle are singular as pebbles, marked with vivid details of a lost but living time and place. Scala throws them far into the water until they resonate, sending circles out into the abyss, captivating us in the endless human process of cycling through the past.”—Annie Finch


J. Gabriel Scala received her M.F.A. from Bowling Green State University. She has had poems and critical reviews published in Lullwater Review, Beacon Street Review, Northwest Florida Review, Calyx, and Third Coast. Scala currently lives in Memphis, Tennessee, and teaches literature and creative writing at the Lausanne School.