Floyd Skloot: Far West
Portland author Floyd Skloot joins us to read from his new collection of poems, Far West, published by Louisiana State University Press.
Skloot's Far West intertwines the past and present, as time alternates between racing and standing still. Crafting poems that confront memory lapses and painful recollections, Skloot traces his moments of purest perception and expression: his wife practicing music, his daughter finding delight in the presence of wildlife, Vladimir Nabokov able to lose himself when playing goalie in a soccer match. A poem about a forgotten word or name can lead to one about a song that refuses to stop playing over and over in our minds, or to an evocation of a long-dead futuristic novelist who comes back from the afterlife to find a world even stranger than any he imagined. In poems that range from traditional forms and short lyrics to longer narratives and free verse, Skloot explores how emotional experiences—memory and forgetting, love and loss, reverie and urgent attention—all come together in our search for coherence and authentic self-expression.
Floyd Skloot is a poet, creative nonfiction writer, and novelist whose work has won three Pushcart Prizes, a PEN USA Literary Award, two Pacific NW Book Awards, and two Oregon Book Awards. His poems have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, Harper's Magazine, Poetry, Georgia Review, Hudson Review, and many of the leading journals in this country as well as overseas. He has contributed book reviews to The New York Times Book Review, Boston Globe, Harvard Review, Sewanee Review, and other publications. Skloot lives in Portland with his wife Beverly Hallberg. Floyd's daughter, Rebecca Skloot, is the bestselling author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Floyd and Rebecca co-edited The Best American Science Writing 2011.
"Far West explores the mystery of what happens in the darkness of the skull and the vulnerability of the brain to time and violence." –Mary Szybist, Portland poet and winner of the 2013 National Book Award for Poetry.