Floyd Skloot

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Floyd Skloot (1947, Brooklyn, New York)[1] is an American poet, novelist, and memoirist who has often written about the search for meaning through personal loss and the struggle for coherence in a fragmented world. Some of his work has dealt with his battle with neurological damage caused by a virus (brain lesions) he contracted in 1988.[2][3]


Skloot received a B.A from Franklin & Marshall College and an M.A. in English at Southern Illinois University, where he studied with the Irish poet Thomas Kinsella. In 2006,Franklin & Marshall College awarded him an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree. A New Yorker, Skloot moved to Portland, Oregon in 1984. He is married to painter Beverly Hallberg, who specializes in both abstract and impressionist landscapes and writes a blog (Rivermile14.com) with photographs about her activity as a birder. Skloot is the father of the bestselling non-fiction writer Rebecca Skloot, whose work includes The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Skloot and Hallberg live in Oregon.

Skloot is the author of nineteen books, including the memoirs "In the Shadow of Memory," (2003) "A World of Light," (2005), "The Wink of the Zenith: The Shaping of a Writer's Life," (2008) each published by the University of Nebraska Press, and "Revertigo: An Off-Kilter Memoir" (University of Wisconsin Press, 2014). His recent poetry collections are "The End of Dreams" and "The Snow's Music," both from Louisiana State University Press, "Close Reading" from Eyewear Publishing in the UK, and "Selected Poems: 1970-2005" from Tupelo Press. He has contributed to publications including The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic Monthly, Harper's, Poetry, The Sewanee Review, Southern Review, Boulevard, Virginia Quarterly Review, "The Hopkins Review," Hudson Review, and Southwest Review. His book reviews frequently appear in the Boston Globe,New York Times, and Harvard Review. Skloot and his daughter co-edited The Best American Science Writing 2011 for HarperCollins/Ecco, published in September 2011. He published his first collection of short stories in 2011, "Cream of Kohlrabi," from Tupelo Press. In Fall 2015, Louisiana State University Press will publish his new collection of poems, "Approaching Winter." He recently completed novel entitled "Something I Missed."

Honors and awards[edit]

In January 2010, Poets & Writers, Inc. named Skloot "one of fifty of the most inspiring authors in the world." His awards include three Pushcart Prizes, the PEN USA Literary Award in Creative Nonfiction, the Independent Publishers Book Award in Creative Nonfiction, two Pacific Northwest Booksellers Awards, and two Oregon Book Awards. He has also been a finalist for the Barnes & Noble Discover Award in Nonfiction, the PEN Award for the Art of the Essay, and the Paterson Poetry Prize. His work has been included twice each in "The Best American Essays," "The Best American Science Writing," "The Best Spiritual Writing," and "The Best Food Writing" annual anthologies, as well as in "The Penguin Book of the Sonnet," "The Touchstone Anthology of Contemporary Creative Nonfiction," and "The Best of the Best American Science Writing." In 2005, he was a Rockefeller Foundation Fellow in residence at their Study Center in Bellagio, Italy.

In May 2006 he received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Franklin & Marshall College.

Written works[edit]

Creative nonfiction[edit]

  • The Night Side published by Story Line Press in 1996.
  • In the Shadow of Memory published by University of Nebraska Press in 2003. Reprinted in UNP's Bison Books paperback series in 2004.
  • The World of Light published by University of Nebraska Press in 2005. Reprinted in UNP's Bison Books paperback series in 2011.
  • The Wink of the Zenith: The Shaping of a Writer's Life published by University of Nebraska Press in 2008. Reprinted in UNP's Bison Books paperback series in 2011.
  • Revertigo: An Off-Kilter Memoir University of Wisconsin Press, 2014

Poetry collections[edit]

  • Music Appreciation published by University Press of Florida. 1994
  • The Fiddler's Trance published by Bucknell University Press. 2001
  • The Evening Light published by Story Line Press. 2001
  • Approximately Paradise published by Tupelo Press. 2005
  • The End of Dreams published by Louisiana State Univ. Press. 2006
  • Selected Poems: 1970-2005 published by Tupelo Press. 2008
  • The Snow's Music published by Louisiana State Univ. Press 2008
  • Close Reading published by Eyewear Publishing, UK, 2014
  • Approaching Winter, Louisiana State University Press, forthcoming Fall 2015


  • Pilgrim's Harbor a novel published by Story Line Press. 1992
  • Summer Blue a novel published by Story Line Press. 1994
  • The Open Door a novel published by Story Line Press. 1997
  • Patient 002 a novel published by Rager Media. 2007
  • Cream of Kohlrabi short stories published by Tupelo Press. 2011

As editor[edit]

  • The Best American Science Writing 2011, co-edited with Rebecca Skloot, published by HarperCollins/Ecco Press. September 2011


  1. ^ "Library of Congress Authorities". LCNAF CIP data - LC Control Number: nr 93015888. LOC. Retrieved January 9, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Frames of mind ; Writer and poet Floyd Skloot offers a powerful, candid memoir of devastating brain damage" by Julia Keller, Chicago Tribune, May 25, 2003
  3. ^ "Shards of memory cut through the haze"

External links[edit]