"Prophetic in bleak times" --DR. CORNEL WESTThe Willies, Adam Falkner's first full-length poetry collection, offers a sharp and vulnerable portrait of the journey into queerhood in America. In a voice that Dr. Cornel West heralds as "prophetic in bleak times," Falkner departs from a more familiar coming out narrative to center the stories of dueling selves. Masquerading white boy. Child of an addict. Closeted varsity athlete. Drifting seamlessly between the scholarly and conversational, Falkner's poems showcase a versatility of language and a courageous hunger, unafraid of depicting the costumes we use to hide legacies of toxic masculinity. Through snapshots both tragic and humorous, merciless and humane, Falkner offers powerful new ways of understanding the intersectional linkage that binds queer shame to cultural appropriation. At its core, The Willies asks us to consider who we will become if we do not grapple with what scares us most. Advance praise for The Willies Adam Falkner has heard what hums at the marrow of men who deceive themselves in order to survive America. -- SAEED JONES This is truth that changes the air it reaches. This is poetry that, damn it, you can't shake. -- PATRICIA SMITH In these urgent and sometimes mysterious poems, Falkner traces questions of identity, family, love and the self. His language is angular and surprising, his content intimate and profound. -- ANDREW SOLOMON Adam Falkner is a poet with a heart of gold and a spine of steel. We need his prophetic voice in these bleak times. --DR. CORNEL WEST I am thankful for the incisive mind and eye of Adam Falkner. In the poems, the work of balancing several selves at once is done gently, deftly, and with the brilliance of someone curious about how limitless they can become. ― HANIF ABDURRAQIB
Dr. Adam Falkner is an poet, educator and arts & culture strategist. He is the author of Adoption (Winner of the 2017 Diode Editions Chapbook Award) and The Willies (forthcoming from Button Poetry, 2020), and his work has appeared in a range of print and media spaces including on programming for HBO, NBC, NPR, BET, in the New York Times, and elsewhere. A former high school English teacher in New York City's public schools, Adam is the Founder and Executive Director of the pioneering diversity consulting initiative, the Dialogue Arts Project, and Special Projects Director for Urban Word NYC.
"...a prophetic voice in bleak times."--Dr. Cornel West "...the ways we devastate one another daily, but also the ways we might be opened into love."--Aracelis Girmay