Contemporary Writers Series

FALL 2012

Seamus Heaney

Tuesday, October 23, 2012; 7 p.m.
Montante Cultural Center
10th Annual Hassett Reading 

Seamus Heaney was born in Northern Ireland. Death of a Naturalist, his first collection, appeared in 1966, and since then he has published poetry, criticism, and translations that have established him as one of the leading poets of his generation. He has twice won the Whitbread Book of the Year award, for The Spirit Level (1996) and Beowulf (1999). In 1995 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. Between 1989 and 1994 Heaney was Professor of Poetry at Oxford, and from 1996-2006, he was the Ralph Waldo Emerson Writer-in-Residence at Harvard University. His most recent collection is Human Chain.

Web Resources

Nobel Prize biography
Telegraph interview 
Guardian review of Human Chain
Review of Italo Calvino by Seamus Heaney
Reading “Death of a Naturalist”
Charlie Rose interview (video)
Reading and conversation with Dennis O’Driscoll 


Ron Hansen

Tuesday March 12, 2013
Grupp Fireside Lounge

Ron Hansen was born in Omaha and educated at Creighton University, the University of Iowa's Writers Workshop, and Stanford University, where he held a Wallace Stegner Creative Writing Fellowship. He is the author of eight novels, including Atticus, Mariette in Ecstasy, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, and Exiles, as well as a collection of essays, A Stay Against Confusion: Essays on Faith and Fiction. He has received fellowships from the Michigan Society of Fellows, the National Endowment for the Arts, the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, and the Lyndhurst Foundation, and was presented with an Award in Literature from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. Hansen is the Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J., Professor in the Arts and Humanities at Santa Clara University, where he earned an M.A. in spirituality in 1995.

Web Resources

Simon and Schuster page
The Fine Delight interview
New York Times review of A Wild Surge of Guilty Passion
Talk with Piers Paul Read on “faith-based writing”
Reading from Exiles
Hansen criticism
Essay: “Writing as Sacrament”

Nick Flynn - POSTPONED

Originally Scheduled for:
Wednesday, April 10, 2013; 7 p.m.
Grupp Fireside Lounge 

Nick Flynn was born and raised in Scituate, MA, south of Boston. His memoir Another Bullshit Night in Suck City, also published under the title Being Flynn and adapted into a movie of the same name, won the PEN/Martha Albrand Award and has been translated into thirteen languages. Derived from his experience working at a Boston homeless shelter, the book chronicles his complex relationship with his father, whom he met there for the first time in his adult life. Flynn earned an MFA in creative writing from New York University and is the author of three volumes of poetry: Blind Huber; Some Ether, winner of the PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award; and The Captain Asks for a Show of Hands. Flynn’s second memoir The Ticking is the Bomb weaves together the interrelated stories of his reaction to the Abu Ghraib scandal and the birth of his first child. Currently he teaches at the University of Houston and lives in New York.

Web Resources

Home Page- interview
Reading “Haiku (Failed)”
Nick Flynn Facebook
Nick Flynn Twitter
New York Times on Being Flynn
Being Flynn Trailer 
Identity Theory interview
PopMatters review of The Ticking is the Bomb