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A trip down memoir lane

Published on March 14, 2017 12:50PM

Renowned poet, essayist, memoirist and novelist Floyd Skloot will discuss the art of memoir when he appears in Newport this Sunday, March 19, as a guest of the Willamette Writers’ Coast Chapter.

Skloot’s books include the memoirs “In the Shadow of Memory” and “The Wink of the Zenith: The Shaping of a Writer’s Life,” the poetry collections “Approaching Winter” and “The Snow’s Music” and the novel “The Phantom of Thomas Hardy.”

His talk will focus on the way he built one of his prize-winning essays, “The Famous Recipe,” and also how that essay in turn became a key part of building his book “Revertigo: An Off-Kilter Memoir.” He will discuss key elements of memoir writing, including sources, research, structuring, narrative development and pursuit of truth. Interspersed with readings and with time for questions, the talk will also include a brief examination of Skloot’s unusual use of the memoir form in writing his novel “The Phantom of Thomas Hardy.”

Skloot’s work has won three Pushcart Prizes, the PEN USA Literary Award, been a finalist for the Barnes and Noble Discover Award and the PEN Award for the Art of the Essay. In 2010, Poets & Writers Inc. named him “One of 50 of the Most Inspiring Authors in the World.”

He lives in Portland and Manzanita with his wife, Beverly Hallberg. Skloot’s daughter, Rebecca Skloot, is the bestselling author of “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” soon to be released by HBO as a major motion picture starring Oprah Winfrey. Floyd and Rebecca co-edited “The Best American Science Writing 2011.”

Sunday’s free presentation will run from 2 to 4 pm at the Newport Public Library, 35 NW Nye Street.

For more information about Willamette Writers, go to http://willamettewriters.com/coast.

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