William Evans, the award-winning poet and cofounder of the popular culture website Black Nerd Problems, offers an emotionally vulnerable poetry collection exploring the themes of inheritances, dreams, and injuries that are passed down from one generation to the next and delving into the lived experience of a black man in the American suburbs today.
In We Inherit What the Fires Left, award-winning poet William Evans embarks on a powerful new collection that explores the lived experience of race in the American suburbs and what dreams and injuries are passed from generation to generation. Fall under the spell of Evans’s boldly intimate, wise, and emotionally candid voice in these urgent, electrifying poems.
This eloquent collection explores not only what these inheritances are composed of, but what price the bearer must pay for such legacies, and the costly tolls exacted on both body and spirit. Evans writes searingly from the perspective of the marginalized, delivering an unflinching examination of what it is like to be a black man raising a daughter in predominantly white spaces, and the struggle to build a home and a future while carrying the weight of the past.
However, in beautiful and quiet scenes of domesticity with his daughter or in thoughtful reflection within himself, Evans offers words of hope to readers, proving that resilience can ultimately bloom even in the face of prejudice. Readers of Ta-Nehisi Coates and Hanif Abdurraqib will find a brilliant, fresh new talent to add to their lists in William Evans.
William Evans is an author, speaker, performer, and instructor known for founding the Writing Wrongs Poetry Slam and cofounding the popular website Black Nerd Problems. He has been a national finalist in multiple poetry slam competitions and was the recipient of both the 2016 Sustainable Arts Foundation Grant and the 2018 Spirit of Columbus Foundation Grant. The Callaloo and Watering Hole fellow is the author of three poetry collections and currently lives with his family in Columbus, Ohio. He is an MFA candidate at Randolph College in Lynchburg, Virginia.
Publisher: Simon & Schuster (March 24, 2020)
Length: 160 pages
"A tender, tender collection….The lines of Evans’s poetry radiate with such warmth, and the insight is as enveloping as a hug from a loved one." —Morgan Jerkins, New York Times bestselling author of This Will Be My Undoing
“William Evans is a thoughtful truth teller, whose every word, beautifully woven, provides the gift of home to us. We are comforted, yet sharpened, by these poems. Evans fathers us deep into the arms of each story with assertiveness and delicacy.” —Jasmine Mans, poet, author of Black Girl, Call Home
"Evans may tackle ambitious subjects, but his dexterous use of language and emotion makes his book stand out. He somehow manages to make anew the timeless topics of race and familial love in a way that deserves to be heard." —The Michigan Daily
“These poems offer sensitive portraits of race and fatherhood and richly explore the past while providing hope for the future.” –Booklist (starred review)