Nick Flynn

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Nick Flynn
Flynn at Lannan Poetry Series
Flynn at Lannan Poetry Series
Born (1960-01-26) January 26, 1960 (age 60)
Scituate, Massachusetts, US
OccupationAuthor, poet, playwright
ResidenceNew York City, New York, U.S.
Notable works
Notable awards
m. 2009)

Nick Flynn (born January 26, 1960) is an American writer, playwright, and poet. His most recent publication is The Reenactments (2013),[1][2] which chronicles Flynn's experience during the making of Being Flynn, a 2012 film based on his acclaimed 2004 memoir, Another Bullshit Night in Suck City.[3][4] Flynn is also the author of three collections of poetry, including Some Ether, which won the inaugural PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award for Poetry in 1999, and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.

Early life[edit]

Nick Flynn was raised by his mother in Scituate, Massachusetts, a suburb of Boston.[citation needed]

Flynn had no contact with his father throughout most of his childhood and adolescence as his parents separated when he was six months old.[5] As a child, he was discouraged to follow a writing career because his father had identified himself as a writer to his mother when they first met. Flynn claimed a reason for his parents' separation was his father's "delusion of greatness and identifying it very directly with being an artist." Flynn first became an electrician after graduating high school, owing to the stigma associated with being a writer.[6] When he was 22 years old, his mother committed suicide, and Flynn left his childhood home soon after.[7]


At 27, Flynn was unexpectedly reunited with his father at the Pine Street Inn, a homeless shelter in Boston, when his then-homeless father showed up as a 'guest.' He examined his relationship with his father, as well as the suicide of his mother, in Another Bullshit Night in Suck City.[8] Flynn explored his decision to have a child in his second memoir,The Ticking Is The Bomb.[9] Following its publication, he wrote a book of poetry,The Captain Asks for a Show of Hands, which continued on similar themes.[10] The Reenactments is the final book in Flynn's trilogy of memoirs.[11]

Flynn's initial focus was on poetry, and he held a fellowship at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts, before moving to New York to pursue his Master of Arts in Poetry at New York University.[12] He was a member of Columbia University's Writing Project, in which he served as an educator and consultant in New York public schools.[13] He currently teaches Creative Writing at the University of Houston.[14]

Flynn's poems, essays, and non-fiction have been featured in The New Yorker, Paris Review, National Public Radio's This American Life, and The New York Times Book Review, and have been translated into 14 languages.[15]

Personal life[edit]

In 2009, he married his long-time partner, actress Lili Taylor. Flynn and Taylor live in New York with their daughter.[16]




  • Some Ether: Poems (Graywolf Press, 2000) ISBN 978-1555973032
  • Blind Huber: Poems (Graywolf Press, 2002) ISBN 978-1555973735
  • The Captain Asks for a Show of Hands (Graywolf Press, 2011) ISBN 978-1555976330
  • My Feelings: Poems (Graywolf Press, 2015) ISBN 978-1555977108
  • I Will Destroy You: Poems (Graywolf Press, 2019) ISBN 978-1-64445-002-4
List of poems
Title Year First published Reprinted/collected
Cartoon physics, part 1 Josh Neufeld published drawings inspired by the poem in Crossroads magazine, 2001.
The day Lou Reed died 2013 Flynn, Nick (November 25, 2013). "The day Lou Reed died". The New Yorker. 89 (38): 102–103.


  • Alice Invents a Little Game and Alice Always Wins: A Play (Faber & Faber, 2008)



  • A Note Slipped Under the Door: Teaching from Poems We Love (Stenhouse Publishers, 2000, co-authored with Shirley McPhillips) ISBN 978-1571103208



  1. ^ "The Reenactments at W.W. Norton". Retrieved February 2, 2013.
  2. ^ Kellogg, Carolyn (January 18, 2013). "Nick Flynn, On the Set of His Life Story, LA Times". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 3, 2013.
  3. ^ Elliott, Stephen (September 19, 2004). "Father Limps Back into His Son's Life, San Francisco Chronicle". The San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved February 3, 2013.
  4. ^ Miliard, Mike. "The Prodigal Father, Boston Phoenix". Archived from the original on April 3, 2013. Retrieved February 3, 2013.
  5. ^ Flynn, Nick (2004). Another Bullshit Night in Suck City. W. W. Norton & Company. p. 63. ISBN 978-0-393-32940-7.
  6. ^ "'Being Flynn': When Dad Needs To Take Shelter". npr. npr. Retrieved October 8, 2015.
  7. ^ Flynn, Nick (2004). Another Bullshit Night in Suck City. W. W. Norton & Co. pp. 152–187. ISBN 978-0-393-32940-7.
  8. ^ "NPR's Fresh Air Interview With Nick Flynn". Retrieved February 3, 2013.
  9. ^ Botton, Sari. "Conversations With Writers Braver Than Me, The Rumpus". Retrieved February 3, 2013.
  10. ^ Monroy, Liza. "Turning Memoir into Fiction, Guernica". Retrieved February 3, 2013.
  11. ^ Baker, Jeff (January 5, 2013). "Bookmarks, The Oregonian". Retrieved February 3, 2013.
  12. ^ "Nick Flynn CV". Retrieved February 21, 2016.
  13. ^ "Library of Congress Interview with Nick Flynn". Retrieved February 3, 2013.
  14. ^ Parks, Louis B. "'Being Flynn' offered lesson in self-discovery". Retrieved February 3, 2013.
  15. ^ "Nick Flynn at Litquake". Archived from the original on October 2, 2012. Retrieved February 3, 2013.
  16. ^ "Love by the Book, New York Magazine". Retrieved February 3, 2013.
  17. ^ "Erikson Institute Prize for Excellence in Mental Health Media". Austen Riggs Center. Retrieved October 25, 2018.
  18. ^ "Nick Flynn - PEN America". Retrieved October 25, 2018.
  19. ^ "John Simon Guggenheim Foundation | Fellows". Retrieved October 25, 2018.
  20. ^ PEN American Center > Poetry > Joyce Osterweil Award for Poetry > Previous Winners Archived March 13, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  21. ^ "Darwin's Nightmare at IMDB". Retrieved February 2, 2013.
  22. ^ "Being Flynn Credits at Focus Features". Retrieved February 3, 2013.

External links[edit]