Wyoming Arts Council

Flynn offers more bewilderment, less B.S.

On Thursday, October 18, 2-5 p.m., writer Nick Flynn will conduct a workshop on “Bewilderment” at the Casper College Literary Conference. Nick is the author of “Another Bullshit Night in Suck City” (Norton, 2004) which won the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for the Art of the Memoir and has been translated into 10 languages. Nick grew up on Boston’s South Shore and spent six years working at a Boston homeless shelter. In “Another Bullshit Night in Suck City,” he recounts a tumultuous childhood and family life – with the uncanny trajectory that ultimately led his homeless father to seek shelter at the Pine Street Inn while Nick worked there. Poet Mark Doty states, “Nick Flynn has given us one of the most terrifying families in American letters, though he approaches each character in this ferocious, inventive memoir with an almost radical sense of compassion, as if all that any of us could do were to stumble ahead with the burdens we are given. The result is a book so singular, harrowing and loving as to be indelible.”

Nick, making his first foray to Wyoming, describes his Oct. 18 workshop this way:

Participants will be asked to consider bewilderment and how it gets acted out in our writing – either through syntax, access to the duende, leaps into the unconscious, or simply circling around what is unsaid, unknown, unrealized. Or, as Aristotle puts it, “The mind in the act of making a mistake. . . .” Participants will be asked to read classmates’ work with an eye toward bewilderment, marking and naming those places they see it enacted or embodied. During the workshop, the group will try to find ways to push a little further into this shadow world. In “Robert Frost, a Life,” Jay Parini writes, “as in so many of his dramatic poems, Frost dwells on points of miscommunication, the fathomless depths of isolation inherent in all acts of utterance, the gaps that cannot be bridged by words. As Frost said at his readings: ‘Poems are about what you don’t mean as well as what you do mean.’ “

If Nick’s session doesn’t strike your fancy, try a songwriting workshop with Jeff Finlin (of Casper favorite, the Jeff Finlin Band); or maybe a “Women’s Story” workshop by Dr. Jean Shinoda Bolen. All these — and more — will be offered as part of the “Spiritual Warriors” literary conference Oct. 17-19 at Casper College.

Click here to register for workshops.

FMI: Kathy Coe, 307-268-2533 or 1-800-442-2963

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