Flynn, Nick 1960-
FLYNN, Nick 1960-
Poet and educator. Columbia University, New York, NY, Teachers College Writing Project; University of Houston, Houston, TX, part-time lecturer, 2004—. Previously worked as a ship's captain, an electrician, a restaurant worker, and a social worker.
PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award, for Some Ether; Larry Levis Prize, Virginia Commonwealth University, for Some Ether; Amy Lowell Traveling Fellowship, 2001-02; Guggenheim Foundation fellow; Witter Bynner Foundation fellow, Library of Congress, 2001.
Some Ether, Graywolf Press (St. Paul, MN), 2000.
(With Shirley McPhillips) A Note Slipped under the Door: Teaching from Poems We Love, Stenhouse Publishers (York, ME), 2000.
Blind Huber: Poems, Graywolf Press (St. Paul, MN), 2002.
Collaboration with comic artist Josh Neufeld, Crossroads, autumn, 2001. Contributor to anthologies and periodicals, including New American Poets: A Bread-loaf Anthology, American Poetry: The Next Generation, and Paris Review.
WORK IN PROGRESS:
Nick Flynn is an award-winning American poet whose works have been collected in highly praised volumes. After a childhood colored by his mother's suicide, Flynn worked as a ship's captain and a social worker before turning to poetry. The strength of his literary debut, Some Ether, brought immediate critical attention, and he was awarded a one-year Amy Lowell Traveling Fellowship. In Library Journal, Rochelle Ratner judged Flynn "unquestionably one of the most interesting poets writing today."
Some Ether contains free verse poems drawn primarily from autobiographical subjects, chief among them the suicide of his mother many years before. Among critics who recommended the volume, Tony Hoagland noted in Ploughshares, "Some Ether combines nakedness, elegance, and emotional intelligence. The poems are beautifully clear in their particulars and meanings." In Publishers Weekly, a reviewer concluded that despite the limited perspective offered in the poems, the "collection nevertheless presents an earnest sounding out of painful losses, and an honest feeling out of survival and selfhood." Booklist reviewer Donna Seaman found the poems filled "with grace and longing," and Ratner, writing again in Library Journal, "highly recommended" Flynn's "fascinating and impressive debut collection."
Flynn's follow-up collection, Blind Huber: Poems, offers a unified sequence of poems centering on François Huber, a blind, eighteenth-century beekeeper whose research provided the basis for modern understanding of honeybee society. Many of the poems adopt the perspective of the bees themselves. A Publishers Weekly reviewer called the work a "compact and compelling lyric sequence," and in a second Booklist review, Seaman praised the "exquisite delicacy and transporting agility" of Flynn's poetry.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
A Directory of American Poets and Fiction Writers, Poets & Writers (New York, NY), 2001.
Booklist, June 1, 2000, Donna Seaman, review of Some Ether, p. 1839; October 1, 2002, Donna Seaman, review of Blind Huber: Poems, p. 297.
Library Journal, May 15, 2000, Rochelle Ratner, review of Some Ether, p. 98; April 15, 2001, Barbara Hoffert, review of Some Ether, p. 102; November 1, 2002, Rochelle Ratner, review of Blind Huber, p. 94.
Ploughshares, fall, 2000, Tony Hoagland, review of Some Ether, p. 224.
Poetry, November, 2001, Christian Wiman, review of Some Ether, pp. 95-97.
Publishers Weekly, June 5, 2000, review of Some Ether, p. 91; September 23, 2002, review of Blind Huber, p. 69.
Ploughshares,http://www.pshares.org/ (June 10, 2003), biography of Nick Flynn.