Bryan Doerries

Alumnus, 1991

Bryan Doerries attended the Workshop in poetry in 1992 and joined the residential staff as a teacher and counselor from 1995-98. He is the author of the nonfiction book The Theater of War and the graphic novel The Odyssey of Sergeant Jack Brennan. Find him online here.

Where are you living and what brought you there?

Brooklyn, NY. Open space, blue skies, and a place to raise our 1-year-old daughter, Abigail.

Where are you working and what do you enjoy about it?

I’m the Artistic Director of a social impact company: Outside the Wire. We address pressing public health and social issues through live theater and a variety of other media. Here’s a link to the website, where you can learn more about our projects: www.outsidethewirellc.com

What do you find yourself most often reading/listening to lately and why?

Books: Stephen Mitchell’s translation of the Book of Job, Aristotle’s Poetics, In the Hand of Dante and The Last Opium Den by Nick Tosches, Joshua Cody’s [Sic], Susan Sontag’s Illness as Metaphor, Fante by Dan Fante, Asklepios, Medicine, and the Politics of Healing in 5th Century Athens by Bronwen Wickkiser, Anne Carson’s Nox, The Central Park Five by Sarah Burns, and Big Machine by Victor LaValle. Music: Bob Dylan, Tom Brosseau, Tom Waits, Gillian Welch, Thelonious Monk, LCD Soundsystem, Animal Collective, Brian Eno, Daniel Johnston, Woody Guthrie, Burl Ives, and Elizabeth Mitchell.

What are you working on right now and what does it represent in the larger body of your artistic accomplishments?

I’m working on a number of projects right now. A couple of highlights of upcoming events:We’ll be presenting readings of Euripides’ Bacchae in Appalachia for communities that have been ravaged by prescription drugs and methamphetamines as a catalyst for audience discussions about the timeless human struggle with substance abuse and addition.We’ll also be presenting readings of the Book of Job in Joplin, MO on the one-year anniversary of the tornado that took 161 lives and destroyed nearly 7,000 homes in 32 minutes last May.

What are your publications, performances, albums, and/or achievements that seem most important to you at this point in time?

I’m currently writing a non-fiction book for Alfred A. Knopf provisionally titled Why Sophocles Really Matters. It’s about how and why ancient Greek tragedies can help us face some of the most morally complex issues of our time.  At the same time, Vintage will be publishing a volume of my translations of four Greek tragedies by Sophocles and Aeschylus.

How would you characterize the influence of your YWW experience in your life?

It was one of the most important experiences of my young life.

What’s the best advice you can give a Young Writer (in general or in your specific genre)?

It’s precisely because you write that I’m not worried about your future.  

Where can we find you online?