Heavier Than Wait by Ilyus Evander (2020)
Heavier Than Wait is a tender guide to a queer experience in mental illness. Ilyus Evander challenges the idea that apathy equals stability through her exploration of dysmorphia and dissociation in mental health. Here, the body is not just a thing of flesh, but a being filled with possibility and bound by tangibility. Using hypertext, memory, and interrogation of truth, Evander showcases the pains and hopes of healing.
Praise for Heavier Than Wait
“In Ilyus Evander’s debut poetry collection, we are given a perfect guide through a queer experience of mental illness. Using a blend of hypertext, memory, and dream, Evander circles the many ways pathology and autonomy weave in and out of our bodies—how they converse, contradict, glitch, reveal our desire to escape, but also to stay. Heavier Than Wait is a beacon lighting the unspeakable, a teacher, a mirror, a dirge. Swallow each bitter pill in these poems—you might even feel better.”
—Muggs Fogarty, author of Sex Camel
“I forget my name and that is an act of self-love, writes Ilyus Evander in this moving debut, where dissociation and dysphoria make complicated knots with healing. Here, the body is both angelic ghost and mechanical saboteur; at once mythical in its promises and heavy with its limitations. Evander navigates the contradictions of this journey with formal imagination, emotional verve, and a refusal to chart any easy paths to triumph. Yet this is a collection wrought, too, with something like hope—something, at least, like the belief that new names might grow in the old one’s place.”
—Franny Choi, author of Soft Science