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Poet Floyd Skloot's encephalopathy


Senior Member
East Coast city, USA
This was posted by Steven Du Pre to Co-Cure on March 20th:


Co-Cure Members,
Floyd Skloot is an award-winning poet from Oregon who describes
the disease Myalgic Encephalomyelitis in a way that makes clear
that we are dealing with a brain injury due to viral assault.
CDC Reeves "empiric" definition leaves out important information
and substitutes the biopsychosocial nonsense of CFS Wessely school.

Floyd Skloot has written 6 books of poetry, including Music
Appreciation (1994), The Evening Light (2001), The Fiddler's
Trance (2001) and The End of Dreams (2006), 3 memoirs,
1 collection of essays and 4 novels. He is the winner of the Emily
Clark Balch Prize in Poetry from Virginia Quarterly Review and
three Pushcart Prizes.

Below is part of his description of the disease from the preface
Skloot's memoir "A World of Light" which matches quite well with
the clearly delineated criteria of Drs. Ramsay, Dowsett, and Hyde
available in this patient handout for doctors:

From the preface of Skloot's book:
"At World of Light is a memoir of the reassembled life.
In early December 1988, at the age of 41, I boarded a plane
in Portland, Oregon, and during the flight to Washington, DC,
contracted a virus that targeted my brain. It was probably a common
virus, according to my doctors; the most likely suspect is human
herpes virus
carried on the plains recirculated air. But my immune system was
to stop its assault on my brain.
By the time I flew back to Oregon, three days later, I was a
changed man. I knew I was very sick, but didn't perceive that
the cascading symptoms were connected to a grave or illness until,
after six weeks of continuing deterioration, I was no longer able
to work or think or remember. I couldn't run anymore, and when
I tried I would get lost on the wooded trails where I had run 50 miles
a week, year after year....
As brain scans finally revealed, a viral assault had he been away
of my brain, the resulting damage showing up as scattered punctate
lesions in the cerebral cortex whose effects left me totally disabled.
Connections were afraid and severed, with scar tissue scattered
like frozen spots in the fiery landscape of gray matter....
Neuropsychological testing confirmed that my abstract reasoning
powers, long-and short-term memory, visual learning capacity,
and ability to make sense of what I see at all been severely
My IQ had diminished almost twenty percent.
More than 15 years have passed and I remain totally disabled....
My previous book, In the Shadow of Memory, took eight years to write."

In the midst of one of his poems, he relates the problems of
Myalgic Encephalomyelitis in the course of his life one Sunday

The Winter Branch
"All pleasures and all pains, remembering
The bough of summer and the winter branch."

Skloot's website: http://www.floydskloot.com/

Steven Du Pre
Poetry website: http://www.angelfire.com/poetry/soareagle/index.html
"By words the mind is winged." Aristophanes
Website for National Alliance for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis:


All shall be well . . .
Santa Rosa, CA
I've read two of Floyd Skloot's memoirs and thought they were beautifully written and very moving. These are books I wish I owned.

In the Shadow of Memory
A World of Light


Senior Member
East Coast city, USA
I'm with you, Gracenote.

Skloot writes so well and so movingly!

I like that he describes symptoms not mentioned here so much; symptoms that get lost with the emphasis on "fatigue".


Senior Member

Thanks much for this. Skloot is a very talented fellow! (I blush to admit that I have not yet read his books on illness.) Are you aware of any interviews where Skloot names ME or CFS explicitly? Since so many of my connections on FB are writers and poets, I've been keeping an eye out for such an essay or interview for a long time but can't find one.

Thanks again!


Senior Member
East Coast city, USA
Hi Koan,

I'm afraid I don't know of any interviews like that.

I checked out his website (URL in the first post of this thread) and didn't find anything.

You might find something if you google his name.

I am too pooped to do this at the moment.



Senior Member
OMG, Zombers! I had checked his website and googled and couldn't find anything that mentioned ME or CFS!

I haven't looked at the interview you found yet but you have no idea how big this is for me! In my world, Skloot is seen to be highly credible. And, since I've been putting out more information about me and ME lately, I'd love to be able to follow up with Skloot!

Many, many thanks to you!


Senior Member
Well now, who'd a thunk it would be the CAA who would come to my rescue. A humble thank you to the CAA. You got the Skloot part exactly right!



Senior Member
East Coast city, USA
Yeah, Skloot came to my attention via The CFIDS Chronicle, as I finally recalled. So I just googled CFIDS.org Skloot and up this popped!

I'm so glad to see this piece will help spread awareness among your circle, Koan!

And yes, The CFIDS Chronicle put out some good work. In its early years, it was filled with commentary by researchers and clinicians -- great stuff!