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Thomas Lynch to Speak at Fordham


Poet, essayist and undertaker Thomas Lynch will deliver a lecture “Calling: How we come to be the ones we are,” next week at the Rose Hill Campus.

Monday, Nov. 4
6 p.m.
Tognino Hall, Duane Library, Rose Hill Campus

Thomas Lynch Contributed Photo

Lynch, a native of Michigan, has owned and run a funeral home in Milford, Mich., for the last 38 years. He published his first collection of poems, Skating with Heather Grace (Carnegie Mellon) in 1986, and in the years since, he has carved out a niche as someone who can approach the mundane task of preparing the dead as a life-affirming event.

He’s been described by the Poetry Foundation as a cross between Garrison Keillor and W.B. Yeats, whose work “dissects the vicissitudes of the human experience with grace and wit.”

For his talk, which is sponsored by the Francis and Ann Curran Center for American Catholic Studies, Lynch will read from his recent books, including Apparition & Late Fictions, (W. W. Norton & Company, 2011) The Sin-Eater: A Breviary, (Paraclete, 2011) and The Good Funeral (Westminster John Knox, 2013).

“Art, said Auden, is what we do ‘to break bread with the dead.’  “Rhyme and meter,” said Heaney, “are the table manners.” So I’d like to speak a little about the language arts of poetry and essay and fiction and how they might figure into the larger narratives of life and time,” he said via e-mail.

“I hope also to have some dialogue with those in attendance so that the conversation goes in the direction of their curiosities as much as mine.”

For more information, contact Maria Terzulli at


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