Poet, author and funeral director Thomas Lynch will be the featured writer at the Traverse City National Writer’s Series on June 2 at the City Opera House. Lynch is renowned for his charismatic stage presence and captivating manner of storytelling in front of live audiences. He has been the subject of two documentary films: PBS Frontline’s “The Undertaking,” which won the 2008 Emmy Award for Arts & Culture Documentary, and Cathal Black’s “Learning Gravity,” which won The Michigan Prize at the Traverse City Film Festival in 2009.

His first work of nonfiction, “The Undertaking – Life Studies from the Dismal Trade,” won The American Book Award and The Heartland Prize, and was a finalist for the National Book Award. It was also required reading for the staff of the hit HBO television series “Six Feet Under,” for which Lynch served as a consultant.

Lynch’s collections of poems include “Skating with Heather Grace,” “Grimalkin & Other Poems” and “Still Life in Milford.” A fourth collection of poems, “Walking Papers,” will be published in August 2010. “Apparition & Late Fictions,” a novella and collection of short stories, was published in February 2010 to broad critical acclaim and was lauded by The New York Times as “another chapter in one of the most memorable records in American letters.”

Lynch currently lives with his family in Milford, Michigan, where he has been the funeral director since 1974, and in West Clare, Ireland where he keeps an ancestral cottage.

“An Evening With Thomas Lynch” starts at 7:00 p.m. on June 2 at the City Opera House, with doors opening at 6:00 p.m. Lynch will be joined onstage by guest host and critically acclaimed author Jerry Dennis, who has penned such popular books as “A Place on the Water” and “The Living Great Lakes: Searching for the Heart of the Inland Seas." The latter title won the prestigious Sigurd Olson Nature Writing Award and was selected as "Best Book of 2003" by the Outdoor Writers Association of America. Dennis is currently working on a documentary film based on the book.

Friends and co-instructors at writing retreats, the two authors will discuss Lynch’s best-selling books and life in the intriguing funeral trade, as well as take questions from the audience in a lively and entertaining Q&A. Theirs will be a humorous and poignant discussion on writing, storytelling, mortality, the outdoors and the power of the written word.

Guests of the event will enjoy complimentary dessert courtesy of Morsels, as well as a post-event reception featuring a cash bar and personal book signing with the authors. Attendees will be able to purchase copies of both author’s books for signing at the event.

Tickets for “An Evening with Thomas Lynch” can be purchased at the City Opera House box office, or online at cityoperahouse.org. Tickets are $15 advance/$20 at the door for adults, and $5 for students. For more information, visit nationalwritersseries.org.