Winner of the 2001 Oregon Book Award judged by Maxine Kumin. In her citation, Kumin said: "A truly significant book. The first seven poems alone, which range from Donizetti to Manet, Kokoschka to Seurat, are so lushly evocative of that earlier world of art and music that I was stunned with delight while reading them. He writes movingly of his own landscape, both the textural landscape of the Oregon coast and his own inner one, of illness, domesticity, a trip to Ireland, and the deaths of parents. Skloot is a sort of underground formalist, unobtrusively slipping a pantoum in here, a sonnet there. His rhymes are remarkable for their ease."
Quotes from reviews of the book:
"It's extraordinary to pick up a book of poetry and become so engrossed in it that you can't put it down. The content, texture, and drama of Skloot's poems swiftly move the reader into a rich, suspenseful world." —Library Journal
"Skloot is an ordinary poet in the sense that he centers his poems on ordinary life. Illnesses, seasons, housekeeping, love, the aging of parents and one's own body, cooking‑‑all are held up to the examining light of the poet's eye. Skloot's spirit is generous, more celebratory than critical. Although often autobiographical, his work is oddly not 'confessional.' As he reports his life experiences, they open up rather than close down to the reader. A fine sequence of imagined mundane anecdotes from the lives of other artists opens this book, which includes another, lush series on midlife love later on. Skloot's voice throughout is strong, clean, and clear." —Booklist
"A poet of singular skill and subtle intelligence, Skloot navigates these troubled waters with great verbal brilliance." —Harvard Review
"In a bittersweet meditation on age and illness, the poet underlines the solace of nature . . . Skloot’s craft is nothing short of masterful; rhymes and images slip by then sizzle later in the mind." —North American Review
"Floyd Skloot’s remarkable second collection celebrates the ways in which art might rescue and retrieve things from life . . . . There are too many good poems to mention, but their cumulative power and their interdependent nestlings and shadowings lead to a broadening and deepening debate about perception that fastens onto the reader." —Notre Dame Review
"A poet of national appeal … these are poems that bear reading again and again … This is a book with a quiet heart, but one that beats with a steady pulse and the certainty of life rushing through the veins. A wide embrace of life even in its most difficult moments, The Evening Light shows us how, in the life responsibly lived, we neither escape our collective and individual memories, nor do we rest nostalgically in them." —Carolina Quarterly