Floyd Skloot, Writer


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The Fiddler's Trance

Bucknell University Press, Cloth, 2001, 80 pp

From the Publisher:

Floyd Skloot continues his exploration of human resilience in The Fiddler's Trance, his third collection. Patterns of historical and personal experience in these poems illuminate the mysterious interaction of illness, loss, and creative endeavor. We can never be certain that our vital force or physical integrity will endure: Skloot's poems consider the phenomenon of sudden change in our lives. When all we understood about ourselves and our world is called into question, we must find a new way of seeing. Mixing formal and free verse; moving freely between past and present, self and others, private and public life, the poems of The Fiddler's Trance are concerned with the power of art to express hope.

Quotes from reviews of the book:

"Unforgettable poems that say more about human resilience and the relation between illness and creativity than many books of 'confessional' poetry in the first person." —Robert Phillips, The Hudson Review

"He renders illness and loss through extraordinary figures that are magnified metaphors for any time when something happens to turn a world once familiar, strange. Finding that poetic echo of our own experience, much like hearing our own situation in someone else's song, provides solace. . . . Skloot never leaves himself or the reader floundering in despair; he always comes back to the beauty of life where he finds hope and inspires the reader to do the same." —Sarah Gianelli,  The Oregonian

"In Floyd Skloot's third collection of poetry, we see an artist confronting the timeless elements of life; we see, too, the fresh departures that characterize a life that is not in stasis . . . . The result is language that is elevated, as memorable poetry must be, but not lifted above the earthy subject matter - as true poetry should never be . . . . The Fiddler's Trance, for all its self-contained strengths, gains resonance and richness when read not as the culmination of Skloot's work, but as another milestone in what we must hope will be a continuing journey." —Richard Wakefield, The Northwest Review

"Yes, there is despair here, but there is also triumph, and truth, and beauty. The terrible beauty that can be expressed only by the very best of poets, by the masters of words who have seen through it all to the very heart and root. Floyd Skloot is one of those poets." —Dan Hays, Salem Statesman Journal

"Floyd Skloot's third full-length collection of poetry reveals him again as a poet of strong narrative and formal command." —Lynnell Edwards, Rain Taxi