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Nick Flynn

Cartoon Physics, Part 1

Poet and memoirist Nick Flynn was born in Scituate, Massachusetts, on Boston's South Shore, in 1960. His debut poetry collection, Some Ether (Graywolf Press, 2000), won the PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award, for which the judges' statement read: "These poems establish their emotional authority through their very movement—their wayward, whispering music. At once reckless and demure, outrageous and delicate…" Most of the poems in Some Ether focus on Flynn's tumultuous family life, and "Cartoon Physics, Part 1" takes a detached yet affecting look at childhood and trauma. Having written about his family in both poetry and prose, Flynn has said, "The way I write I don't see much distinction between the two, although prose seems more suited to daylight, and poetry to night. I try to cook both down to something essential—by the end hopefully some balance between mystery and clarity remains." His forthcoming collection is The Ticking Is the Bomb: A Memoir of Bewilderment, inspired in part by Abu Ghraib detainees. He teaches creative writing at the University of Houston. This animation was created by Siobhan McAlpin, and Flynn reads.

To read this and other poems by Nick Flynn, as well as biographical information about the poet, please visit the Poetry Foundation Web site.