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.