CHESTERTOWN, MD—Poet and author Nick Flynn will give a free reading on Friday, March 23 at 4 p.m. in the Daniel Z. Gibson Center for the Arts as part of Sophie Kerr Weekend at Washington College. The event is free and open to the public.
Flynn will read excerpts from his memoir The Ticking is the Bomb (Norton, 2010) a book defined by a review in the Los Angeles Times as “a disquieting masterpiece” and by Kirkus Reviews as “a striking collection of memories that will mystify, enlighten, trouble, and amaze.” In this deeply personal narrative, Flynn recalls his unstable childhood and the scars that stay with him as he prepares to become a father in a post-9/11 world. With the horrors of Abu Ghraib broadcasting on the news and his own demons of addiction plaguing him, Flynn explores the place of torture, suffering, and redemption in today’s world.
The Ticking is the Bomb was this year’s pick for First-Year Book at Washington College; the members of the class of 2015 were encouraged to read it prior to their arrival on campus. The First-Year Book program gives new students a common experience over the summer and introduces them to Washington College’s tradition of bringing great writers to campus.
Jehanne Dubrow, the director of the Rose O’Neill Literary House and a professor of creative writing, believes Flynn’s visit will be beneficial for burgeoning writers on campus. “Nick Flynn is a great role model not only for aspiring poets, but also for aspiring memoirists and playwrights. It’s the rare writer who manages to establish himself in so many different genres, while still maintaining a voice that is distinctly and cohesively his,” Dubrow says.
Flynn’s first book, PEN Award winner Another Bullshit Night in Suck City (Norton, 2004), has been made into a film by Focus Features. Starring Robert De Niro, Paul Dano, and Julianne Moore, Being Flynn opened in limited release on March 2.
Flynn is also the author of three poetry collections, Some Ether (Graywolf, 2000), Blind Huber (Graywolf 2002), and The Captain Asks for a Show of Hands (Graywolf, 2011). His poems, essays, and nonfiction have appeared in The New York Times, the Paris Review, The New York Times Book Review, and on the public radio program This American Life. He has been awarded fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Library of Congress, the Amy Lowell Trust, and the Fine Arts Work Center.
The reading is sponsored by the Sophie Kerr Committee, the Rose O’Neill Literary House, the Department of English, and the Dean of the College. A book signing will follow in the Underwood Lobby of the Gibson Center, which is located on the College campus, 300 Washington Avenue. For more information: http://www.washcoll.edu.