Virtual Event: The Willies Poems By Adam Falkner
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The Willies, Falkner’s first full-length poetry collection, offers a sharp and vulnerable portrait of the journey into queerhood in America. Departing from a more familiar coming out narrative he centers 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.
About The Author
Dr. Adam Falkner is a 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, in which capacity he oversees the New York City Youth Poet Laureate program, and the organization’s partnerships with corporate and cultural institutions across the country. Adam has toured the United States as a guest artist, lecturer and trainer for thousands of students, educators and culture workers, and was the featured performer at President Obama’s Grassroots Ball at the 2009 Presidential Inauguration. He holds a Ph.D. in English and Education from Columbia University.
Adam will be in conversation with Carlos Andrés Gómez
Carlos Andrés Gómez is a Colombian American poet, speaker, actor, and author of Fractures, winner of the Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry, Hijito, winner of the Broken River Prize and a #1 SPD bestseller, and the memoir Man Up: Reimagining Modern Manhood, released by Penguin Random House. A star of HBO’s Def Poetry Jam, TV One’s Verses and Flow, and Spike Lee’s #1 box office movie Inside Man with Denzel Washington, Carlos’ honors include the Sandy Crimmins National Prize for Poetry, Atlanta Review International Poetry Prize, Foreword INDIES Gold Medal, and the International Book Award for Poetry. A genre-transcending multi-hyphenate, he partnered with John Legend on Senior Orientation, a program to counteract bullying and champion inclusive masculinity among high school students. Carlos is a proud father of two.
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