Memoir as Bewilderment | Omega
June 2015
Nick Flynn

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Memoir as Bewilderment

June 21, 2015 – June 26, 2015
Rhinebeck, NY
Nick Flynn

We are no longer taking online registrations for this workshop.

When first approaching the idea of writing our memoir, says acclaimed poet, memoirist, and playwright Nick Flynn, we often write what we believe is our unique autobiography—but as we press on, we discover that our story is connected to everyone’s story, and only then can we access the deeper mysteries of life.

Under Flynn’s guidance, we look for those moments when we begin to stutter and stumble when talking about our projects, and push more deeply into the shadows, into the unknown of our misremembered past. We wrestle with these deeper mysteries as well as the concept of bewilderment, and how we can embody both in our memoirs—through syntax, our access to the duende, leaps into the unconscious, or simply circling around what is unsaid, unknown, and unrealized.

Come with a willingness to push deeper into this shadow world, and an openness to question why you tell the particular stories about your life that you do.

More Information

Faculty asks that you familiarize yourself with the book, "The Next American Essay,” edited by John D’Agata.

Additionally, the Faculty asked us to pass along the following information to help you prepare for the course:

Here is what I would like us to do to prepare for our time together:

  • Bring in one book of memoir or creative non-fiction that contains some elements of bewilderment, as you define it. Please Xerox a page from this book that (for you) distills one element of this bewilderment. Make 25 copies and bring to our first meeting.
  • Sort through your writing, and bring in 10-20 pages of work in various states of completion, from polished to rough sketches. Make one copy of this to hand to me at our first meeting, and make one copy for yourself. This work should also contain some elements of bewilderment.
  • From this packet of your writing, select one or two pages max to Xerox (25 copies) and hand out at our first meeting.
  • Find a science article that interests you, one that you don’t completely understand — make 25 copies of one page of this article to hand out at our first meeting.
  • Bring scissors, tape, and a writer’s notebook. Begin gathering material in your writer’s notebook now, if you haven’t already.
4:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. Check In (Rooms available after 5:00 p.m.)
7:30 p.m.-7:50 p.m. Welcome & Orientation
9:00 a.m.-Noon Workshop
2:30 p.m.-5:00 p.m. Workshop
9:00 a.m.-Noon Workshop
2:30 p.m.-5:00 p.m. Workshop
9:00 a.m.-Noon Workshop
9:00 a.m.-Noon Workshop
2:30 p.m.-5:00 p.m. Workshop
9:00 a.m.-Noon Workshop
Noon-1:00 p.m. Check Out

The Children's Program is generally available during standard workshop hours only. Contact Omega registration at 877.944.2002 for details.

The above schedule is subject to change at the discretion of the faculty.

Nick Flynn

Nick Flynn is author of three memoirs, The Reenactments, The Ticking Is the Bomb, and Another Bullshit Night in Suck City, also published as Being Flynn, the title of the feature film based on the book. Flynn is also author of three books of poetry, The Captain Asks For a Show of Hands, Some Ether, and Blind Huber.