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Memoir As Bewilderment

September 10 - 15, 2017

Sunday - Friday, 5 nights

$385 Tuition

Plus 5 nights all-inclusive accommodations priced separately

Registration Closed

Program Description

Writing memoir can take you into the unknown of your misremembered past and allow you to push more deeply into the shadows.

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 do we access the deeper mysteries of life.

In this workshop, with Nick’s guidance, you will learn to:

  • Examine why you tell the particular stories of life the way you do
  • Pause and dive deeper into your narrative to uncover what lies beneath for increased self-awareness, understanding, and insight
  • Write memoir in a way that is intriguingly personal as well as universally relatable.

As we work together, you will look for those moments when you begin to stutter and stumble when talking about your project. From there, you will wrestle with the deeper mysteries as well as the concept of bewilderment, and how memoirs can embody both—through syntax, access to the duende, leaps into the unconscious, or simply circling around what is unsaid, unknown, and unrealized.

You will take home unexpected insights and a richer connection to the questions that can drive your memoir forward.

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  • Faculty Bio
    Nick Flynn

    Poet, playwright, and memoirist

    Nick Flynn is an award-winning poet, playwright, and memoirist. His poetry and prose explore the tenuous membrane that separates comfortable, everyday existence from the desperate margins of society, keeping, as the Village Voice describes it, “both the tragic and the redemptive possibilities open.”

    He is author of three memoirs, The Reenactments, The Ticking Is the Bomb, and Being Flynn, which has been translated into 15 languages and was made into a movie starring Robert DeNiro and Julianne Moore. He is also author of four books of poetry, and his book Some Ether won the PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award.

    Nick has received fellowships from, among other organizations, the Guggenheim Foundation and the Library of Congress, and his work is featured internationally in the media, including in the LA Times, New Yorker, New York Times, Huffington Post, and Paris Review, and on Fresh Air and This American Life. Each spring, he teaches in the University of Houston’s creative writing program.


    View Bio Page
  • Why Attend
    • Uncover your relationship to the essential mysteries of life by exploring the depths of your stories in a new way.

    • Develop your writing by asking important questions, guided by internationally renowned, award-winning poet and memoirist, Nick Flynn.

    • Dive into a weekend of writing, discussion, and self-inquiry, reaping the benefits of the unique insights derived from the exploration of bewilderment.

  • Things to Know/Schedule

    Program Schedule

    Download a sample schedule.


    None required.

    Experience Level

    None required.

    Recommended Reading

    The Next American Essay, edited by John D’Agata.

  • About 1440 Multiversity

    Beautifully nestled in the California redwoods near Santa Cruz, our 75-acre campus is within easy reach of San Francisco and Silicon Valley.

    1440 Multiversity is a place to spend time engaging some of life's most meaningful personal questions and to enjoy, restore, and reenergize yourself as you do it.

    You'll find new energy through immersion learning—setting aside daily urgencies and dedicating uninterrupted time to focus on important, but often elusive, priorities. Our unique collaboration with world-class faculty coupled with an original, inspirational curriculum and magnificent grounds make this a place like no other. Add in fresh, redwood-scented air, delicious and healthy food, deep reflection, fun exercise, and good sleep and you've pretty much captured what you'll experience here.

  • Accommodations

    At 1440 Multiversity, you’ll find a wide range of accommodations to meet your preferences and budget. All of our rooms have been thoughtfully designed to provide comfort, promote reflection, and foster connection with others.

    Accommodation rates include more than just the bed you sleep in.

    Per-person per-night rates include:

    • nourishing locally sourced, seasonal meals
    • daily meditation and yoga classes
    • non-ticketed evening events
    • use of all facilities, including the Fitness Center, steam rooms, and infinity-edge hot tub.

    Guests also enjoy access to woodland trails, cafés, and shops.

    View Accommodations
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