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Award-Winning Writer Nick Flynn Giving Reading March 23 as Part of DMC Cultural Programs Series

Acclaimed author, playwright, poet and educator reading from poetic works during free public event

Article by: Rosa Linda Reynoso


He’s an award-winning author and poet. As a playwright, one of his books was made into a movie featuring actors Paul Dano and Robert DeNiro. And, he’s even married to actress Lili Taylor. 

Who is he? He’s Nick Flynn, and the Del Mar College (DMC) Cultural Programs Series is bringing him to campus for a free reading from his body of poetic works on Thursday, March 23. The reading begins at 11 a.m. in Room 100 of the Venters Business Building on DMC’s Heritage Campus at 101 Baldwin Blvd. (78404). Get online directions and campus map

For more information, contact Sara Kaplan, DMC English professor, at 361-698-1427 or skaplan@delmar.edu

As a child, Flynn was discouraged from pursuing a writing career. But, while overcoming some setbacks, his experiences lead him to what he started—writing—which is now characterized by lyric, distilled moments that blur the boundaries of various genres. Many of his books are structured using a collage technique that creates narratives with fractured, mosaic qualities. 

At age 20, Flynn was offered a scholarship to study English at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he was first exposed to contemporary poetry. A couple of years later, his mother committed suicide. Unable to continue with his studies, Flynn held several jobs before starting work at a homeless shelter in Boston. When he was 27, Flynn was unexpectedly reunited with his estranged, alcoholic, then-homeless father at the shelter where he showed up as a “guest.” 

As a playwright, Flynn documented those years working at the homeless shelter and the unforeseen reunion with his father. His memoir about the experience, Another Bullshit Night in Suck City, became a New York Times bestseller, along with the book winning the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for the Art of the Memoir and becoming a finalist for France’s Prix Femina. Additionally, Another Bullshit Night in Suck City has been translated into 15 languages and was turned into a major film titled Being Flynn, starring Robert DeNiro as his father. 

The author’s other memoirs include The Reenactments, The Ticking is the Bomb and This is the Night Our House Will Catch Fire, along with his play, Alice Invents a Little Game and Alice Always Wins.

Altogether, Flynn has published 12 books, including one of his most recent titles––Stay: threads, collaborations and conversations––which documents 25 years of his collaborations with artists, filmmakers and composers. 

His five published poetry collections include I Will Destroy You, a finalist for the Writers’ League of Texas Book Award, My Feelings, The Captain Asks for a Show of Hands, Blind Huber, a finalist for the Massachusetts Center for the Book Poetry Award and Some Ether, which won the inaugural PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award and the Larry Levis Prize from Virginia Commonwealth University and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.

Among his other recognitions, Flynn is a recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, Library of Congress, Amy Lowell Trust, Witter Bynner and Fine Arts Work Center. He also received the Erikson Institute Prize for Excellence in Mental Health Media as well as the Discovery/The Nation Award for his poem, Bag of Mice, about his mother’s suicide.

Flynn’s poems, essays and nonfiction have been featured in The New YorkerParis Review, National Public Radio’s This American Life and The New York Times Book Review.     

He earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in creative writing from New York University. 

Currently, Flynn is a Professor with the Creative Writing Program at the University of Houston, where each spring he teaches poetry and interdisciplinary collaborative art. During the fall semesters, he spends his time in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife, actress Lili Taylor and their daughter, Maeve.

For more information about Nick Flynn, visit https://nickflynn.org

Check out Flynn's reading of Haiku (failed) from a PBS Weekly Poem segment posted on YouTube:


About Del Mar College

Del Mar College empowers students to achieve their dreams. We offer quality programs, individual attention, outstanding instruction through faculty with real-world experience and affordable costs to credit and noncredit students in Corpus Christi and the South Texas Coastal Bend area. Nationally recognized while locally focused, we’re ranked in the top two percent of community colleges in the country granting associate degrees to Hispanic students (Community College Week). Del Mar College focuses on offering our students programs that match current or emerging career opportunities. Whether students are interested in the fine arts, sciences, business, occupational or technical areas, students get the education they need for the future they want at Del Mar College.