ROBERT FLANAGAN

A cuppa tea in County Clare, Ireland, 2001


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Background

Robert Flanagan was born and raised in Toledo, Ohio. His father, an unemployed disabled war veteran, his mother a plug tamper at Champion Spark Plug, his older sister Mona Mary, an aspiring artist, and he lived in a one bedroom apartment above Maloney's, an Irish bar and grill near the corner of Monroe Street and Detroit Avenue, catty corner to Swayne Field ball park, the old home of the Toledo Mud Hens.

His father's family, the Catholic Flanagans, came from Ballyfarnan, Co. Roscommon, Ireland; his mother's family, the Protestant Treloars, from Redruth, Cornwall, England.

He attended St. Ann's grade school and Central Catholic high school, worked a series of dead-end jobs that included dishwasher, janitor and night watchman, then joined the U.S. Marine Corps reserve, going through boot camp at Parris Island and later went on to school, taking his B.A. at the University of Toledo and his M.A. at the University of Chicago.

He has published a novel, MAGGOT (Warner Books), which went through twelve paperback printings and sold a quarter of a million copies. A collection of stories, NAKED TO NAKED GOES (Scribners), named by the Cleveland Plain Dealer as one of the best books published in 1986. It was highly praised by writers Lee K. Abbott, Hugh Nissenson, Annabel Thomas and Austin Wright. He has continued to publish short stories, poetry, and stage plays.

His stories have been included in various anthologies, among them: "Tellerís Ticket" in The Norton Book of American Short Stories; "All Alone and Blue" in Best Ohio Fiction, Bottom Dog Press; "Winter Term" in Ohio Short Fiction, Northmont Publishing. Also, "Berzerk" was a runner-up (to Louise Erdrich) in Chicago's Nelson Algren Fiction Awards, and "Teller's Ticket," was adapted as a screenplay and made into a short film by independent film maker Sheldon Gleisser, winning first place in The Hometown USA Video Festival in Oregon.

Flanagan is the author of two full-length stage plays, JUPUS REDEYE, and VOLLEYS, which have been produced by professional, college, and community theatres, including the American Theatre of Actors in NYC, the Cleveland Public Theatre, the Cincinnati Ensemble Theatre, and the Contemporary American Theatre Company in Columbus (CATCO), and has written various one acts and short shorts. VERSION 2.0, a ten minute script written with Sheldon Gleisser, was produced by CATCO as part of its bi-annual shorts festival and was selected by Central Ohio critics as a best script of 2002.

As a poet, Flanagan has published five chapbooks of poems in the U.S., Canada, and No. Ireland, and his work appears in a number of anthologies, most notably in the seventh edition of An Introduction to Poetry (HarperCollins) edited by X. J. Kennedy. In June, 2009, Bottom Dog Press published REPLY TO AN EVICTION NOTICE, Flanagan's selected poems, 1969-2009.

A collection of his manuscripts and publications is available for reference at the University of Toledo's Ward M. Canaday Center of the William S. Carlson Library.

Flanagan has reviewed boxing, poetry and comedy books for the Columbus Dispatch, taught fiction writing at Thurber House and literature to inmates at the Marion (OH) correction facility, and served as a judge of the GLCA new book awards.

Retired after serving 30 years as Director of Creative Writing at Ohio Wesleyan University, Flanagan now writes full time.

He and his wife, Katy, the former Kathleen Rose Borer from Ottawa, Ohio, a registered nurse, live in Delaware, Ohio where they raised their daughters, Anne and Nora. The longevity of their marriage, 1963 to the present,owes much to her seemingly inexhaustible patience.

Enjoying winter vacations

SELECTED WORKS

POETRY
Selected Poems, 1969-2009, Bottom Dog Press
FICTION
A hard-hitting, best-selling novel about U.S. Marine Corps boot camp at Parris Island.
Each of these stories is a fine little film, speckled with credible dialogue from nuanced personae, shaded with bittersweet longing and generous humor.
Prizewinning collection of stories about the war between men and women, praised by reviewers nationwide.
Stories filled with conflict and comedy
ESSAY
A brief personal essay on amateur boxing.
STAGE PLAY
A scientist comes to see his invention, a Humanoid Automated Reconnaissance Body, as a difficult "teenage son."
A two act dramatic comedy with occasional music set in 1912 in Liberty Center, Ohio.