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Wittenberg Series To Welcome American Writer Nick Flynn

September 17, 2012  
 Filed in Community, Events

Springfield, Ohio – American writer, poet and playwright Nick Flynn will visit Wittenberg University to present “Reenactments: The Games We All Play” for the Wittenberg Series-sponsored Dr. Allen J. Koppenhaver Literary Lecture at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 27, in Bayley Auditorium, Barbara Deer Kuss Science Center, 315 Bill Edwards Drive.

A poet and author of several volumes of memoirs, Flynn’s writings have appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, National Public Radio’s This American Life and The New York Times Book Review. His most recent publication is a play, Alice Invents a Little Game and Alice Always Wins, and he won the inaugural PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Further honors include a 2001 Guggenheim Fellowship, a 2001 Amy Lowell Poetry Travelling Scholarship, and the 1999 Discovery/The Nation Award for his poem, “Bag of Mice,” about his mother’s suicide. Flynn also worked as a “field poet” and as an artistic collaborator on the documentary film Darwin’s Nightmare, which won an Academy Award for best feature documentary in 2006.

Prior to the lecture, Flynn will present a colloquium for the Department of English where he will meet with students.

All Wittenberg Series events are open to the public free of charge. The Dr. Allen J. Koppenhaver Literary Lecture, named for the longtime Wittenberg professor of English who passed away in 1993, is presented with appreciation for the life and inspiration of Dr. Koppenhaver through sponsorship by the Ellen, Lloyd, Margaret and Lanty Smith Endowed Fund for Wittenberg.

A distinguished professor, musician, author and critic, Koppenhaver joined Wittenberg’s faculty in 1961. Recipient of Wittenberg’s top faculty prize, the Alumni Association Award for Distinguished Teaching, and a Fulbright Scholar, Koppenhaver was also a noted tuba player, having played with the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus Band in the early 1950s. In addition, Koppenhaver earned an international reputation as a librettist following several collaborations with composer Robert J. Haskins, Wittenberg class of 1961. Together the two partnered on numerous critically acclaimed musical and dramatic projects, including The Masque of Red Death, A Piano Comes to Arkansas, and The Night Luther Died.

An expert on the music of American composer Charles Ives and British poet T.S. Eliot, Koppenhaver also drew high praise for his play Transparent Morning, which premiered in 1975.  He was eventually named an Honorary Alumnus of Wittenberg University, where he taught until his passing in 1993 at the age of 61. Koppenhaver earned his Ph.D. from Duke University, his M.A. from Ohio University, and his B.A. from Lebanon Valley College.

The Wittenberg Series brings distinguished lecturers and performing artists of national and international prominence to the Wittenberg campus and Springfield community. To make special arrangements, reserve a Series poster, or become a friend of the Wittenberg Series, contact Jeannine Fox at 937-206-3539 or via e-mail at

Written By: Phyllis Eberts


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