Seeking Testimonies: Nick Flynn

By: Addie Tsai and others at SafeSpaceTestimony

We’re posting to follow up on the essay that was recently circulated about Nick Flynn and his predatory behavior. Numerous people responded with feedback that they had heard negative stories about his behavior, that friends of theirs had been violated by him, that he acted inappropriately. However, most of those were friends of friends. People may be intimidated or traumatized. Unfortunately even in 2020, we know that it often takes many brave voices to make an impact when it comes to one established male artist with a large platform.

We’d like to create a safe email space where people can share their stories and we can start to build a substantial case regarding a pattern of inappropriate behavior. We’re asking any writers who have heard stories over the years to reach out to those friends and ask them to share, if they are comfortable. We’re asking any writers who have their own stories to share, to share them if they feel comfortable. Once a handful of people have reached out privately, we can start to collectively shape a statement and substantiate it with examples. It will be anonymous. People’s privacy and safety is of the utmost concern. Nothing will be shared or published without consent.

Nick Flynn has been teaching and been hosted at events and readings for decades. He’s harmed many people. Let’s protect our community. Let’s hold people accountable for their actions. You can begin by simply emailing us below and/or sending this note to writers who have been harmed and encouraging them to share with us.

This strategy worked incredibly well when a collective of Black writers came forward with a statement and testimony about Thomas Sayers Ellis a few years ago. We were so impressed with their collaboration, thoughtfulness, and strength in gathering testimonies. Your stories and experiences matter to us. Please help us show our community that we can hold accountable those who act inappropriately.

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