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The Captain Asks for a Show of Hands
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About the Author

NICK FLYNN is the author of two memoirs, The Ticking Is the Bomb and Another Bullshit Night in Suck City. He is also the author of two previous poetry collections, Blind Huber and Some Ether. He teaches at the University of Houston and lives in New York.

Reviews

"With The Captain Asks for a Show of Hands, Nick Flynn has written a rare lyrical interrogation of brutality in the light of conscience, an unsparing temoignage that sings back to redacted documents, to memoranda governing torture protocols, to night & prison & desert & darkness. This is a poetry that should be read out before the Permanent Court of International Justice in The Hague. Read and be filled with awe, sorrow and gratitude for this poet's gifts and spiritual courage." --Carolyn Forche "Once again, the unstoppable Nick Flynn has flung open a door we didn't know existed. Threaded with dark humor and kickass tweaks to the predictable, The Captain Asks for a Show of Hands is a biting and sparse revelation, a lyrical narrative that unfurls to reveal truths that are insistent and vaguely unsettling. '...isn't it time to admit, ' Flynn asks, 'we are more machinery than gods / that our house is more maze than temple?' Yes, it's time-and Flynn's deft, blade-edged poetics shove us toward many such insights, with a signature he has defined as solely his own." --Patricia Smith "Nick Flynn has written-in the tradition of poets such as Yeats, Whitman, Neruda, Bly, and Ginsberg-a book of political lyric poetry. The book contains, as well, fragile self-transcendence, unself-conscious witness, and the unnoticed heroism of having done or said something against a world as welcoming and congenial to evil as ours appears to be right now." --Franz Wright "I've been waiting for this book for several years now. In fact, I've often argued the need for writers to pick up the pen with this subject in mind. Still-how much easier it is to look away. To not face our own complicity. Our own culpable part within the larger historical whole. Thankfully, in The Captain Asks for a Show of Hands, Nick Flynn chooses not to turn away. Instead, he brings us a poetry which serves as a witness to torture. It is a necessary investigation into our shared humanity and into the depravations which undermine it. And while it's true that to enter this book is to enter into an intimate world of institutionalized pain, the Reader will also discover in these pages that the "first thing we should do / if we see each other again is to make / a cage of our bodies-inside we can place / whatever still shines." --Brian Turner, author of Here, Bullet "This book is a serious one. It's asking difficult questions instead of dancing a post-postmodern dance. It dialogues with suffering and with Paul Celan's 'Deathfugue.' It's an important book." --Adam Zagajewski With "The Captain Asks for a Show of Hands," Nick Flynn has written a rare lyrical interrogation of brutality in the light of conscience, an unsparing temoignage that sings back to redacted documents, to memoranda governing torture protocols, to night & prison & desert & darkness. This is a poetry that should be read out before the Permanent Court of International Justice in The Hague. Read and be filled with awe, sorrow and gratitude for this poet's gifts and spiritual courage. "Carolyn Forche" Once again, the unstoppable Nick Flynn has flung open a door we didn't know existed. Threaded with dark humor and kickass tweaks to the predictable, "The Captain Asks for a Show of Hands" is a biting and sparse revelation, a lyrical narrative that unfurls to reveal truths that are insistent and vaguely unsettling. '...isn't it time to admit, ' Flynn asks, 'we are more machinery than gods / that our house is more maze than temple?' Yes, it's time-and Flynn's deft, blade-edged poetics shove us toward many such insights, with a signature he has defined as solely his own. "Patricia Smith" Nick Flynn has written-in the tradition of poets such as Yeats, Whitman, Neruda, Bly, and Ginsberg-a book of political lyric poetry. The book contains, as well, fragile self-transcendence, unself-conscious witness, and the unnoticed heroism of having done or said something against a world as welcoming and congenial to evil as ours appears to be right now. "Franz Wright" I've been waiting for this book for several years now. In fact, I've often argued the need for writers to pick up the pen with this subject in mind. Still-how much easier it is to look away. To not face our own complicity. Our own culpable part within the larger historical whole. Thankfully, in "The Captain Asks for a Show of Hands," Nick Flynn chooses not to turn away. Instead, he brings us a poetry which serves as a witness to torture. It is a necessary investigation into our shared humanity and into the depravations which undermine it. And while it's true that to enter this book is to enter into an intimate world of institutionalized pain, the Reader will also discover in these pages that the "first thing we should do / if we see each other again is to make / a cage of our bodies-inside we can place / whatever still shines. "Brian Turner, author of Here, Bullet" This book is a serious one. It's asking difficult questions instead of dancing a post-postmodern dance. It dialogues with suffering and with Paul Celan's 'Deathfugue.' It's an important book. "Adam Zagajewski""

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