What Are You Doing Here? Selected Poems

Haskell’s poetry, so often set in familiar environments and concerned with the day-to-day ‘realities’of life, is in fact … a consideration of what the poetic voice means in the ‘real world’. – John Kinsella
Mundane and ethereal, ordinary and extraordinary merge into images that stir us to a new consciousness of life lived today … registering a continuity and a modernity, evoking in us a paradoxical sensation and perception of the evanescence and the solidity. – Subas Chandra SahaHaskell’s poetry can be sardonic, with a gentle irony bearing a cross-cultural stinging tail that does not spare his mates and suburbs, while overflowing with tenderness for most weak things in need of protection.The poems may look back half a century, to understand the self as callow teenager; but their profoundly unflinching centre looks at the present, of illness, dying, and loving through the years of nature’s unkindness … These poems are saved from unbearable pain by their grace, their music, and the muscularity of wit and intelligence. – Shirley Geok-lin Lim