Every Atom | No. 109

Nick Flynn

Introduction to Every Atom by project curator Brian Clements

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I cannot say when these few words first meant something to me. Maybe one of those mornings when the air was both too much and not enough. In two lines Whitman performs a type of jujitsu, the way his words transform—invert—a moment of existential despair. How quickly one can become not the object, but the agent, simply by changing one’s perspective. It meant something at those dark moments I’d occasionally (still) find myself in—it is beautiful and unreasonable and hopeful and true. 

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Nick Flynn has received awards and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, PEN, and the Library of Congress, among other organizations. His most recent book of poems, My Feelings, appeared from Graywolf in 2015, and two new books are due in 2019. He is a professor at the University of Houston.


Cover art by Grayson Becker