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'Being Flynn' author inspires young writers with humor, tragedy

Feb. 11, 2015 at 11:33 p.m.
Updated Feb. 12, 2015 at 8:10 a.m.

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Nick Flynn, author of "Another Bullshit Night in Suck City," reads at the University of Houston-Victoria as part of the American Book REview reading series.

Nick Flynn held a worn and heavily annotated copy of "Another Bull---- Night in Suck City," as he read to an audience inside the Alcorn Auditorium.

"Many fathers are gone," Flynn, 55, read. "Some leave, some are left. Some return, unknown and hungry. Only the dog remembers."

The author spoke at the University of Houston-Victoria on Wednesday as part of the American Book Review reading series. He shared bits of his writing about meeting his estranged father while working at a homeless shelter in Boston and about his mother, who took her own life after suffering from depression.

His book, "Another Bull---- Night in Suck City," was turned into a film "Being Flynn," starring Paul Dano as Flynn and Robert De Niro as his father.

The author was able to use his most intimate, tragic experiences in his writing by whittling down his insecurities with reality, Flynn said.

"The pressure is really low," said Flynn, to an audience that responded to his candor with laughter. "Even the people who read the book, read the book to see themselves reflected in the book."

Once he quit doing drugs and drinking alcohol in his 20s, Flynn said he was able to find an emotional spark in his writing that wasn't coherent before.

Danny Sanders, a UHV freshman from Huntsville, said he thought the reading was very informative.

"His writing has a flair that I'm really attracted to," Sanders said. "His poetry was one of the most different, and most unique kind of writing I've ever heard."

Tony Deases, a senior in the master's program for publishing at UHV, said Flynn's reading served as an inspiration.

"I consider myself a writer," Deases said. "This reading series is really awesome and very rewarding, not only students, but also for members of the Victoria community."

Throughout his reading, Flynn made reference to the fact that everyone he had met up until that point was named Jeffrey - the dean of the school of arts and sciences, the provost and the managing editor of ABR.

"It's so nice to be in a place where you can call everyone Jeff," Flynn said. "It makes it easier for me, especially having just met everyone."

Flynn's newest collection of poetry, "My Feelings: Poems" publishes June 2 and features some of his experiences endured during the filming of "Being Flynn."


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