Heartbroken and introspective, this collection of coming-of-age poems seeks to understand why things fall apart.
From the front flap:
In this romantic and haunted anthology, the Remaining Trouble and Other Battles features a collection of 27 fervent and puzzling poems covering themes like heartbreak, tragedy, and love as well as identity, self-discovery, and self-empowerment in a stream-of-consciousness form. To capture his heartbreak tale, Wagoner draws inspiration from pop culture, music, and contemporary poets and authors, like Robert Hass, Louise Glück, Langston Hughes, John Hollander, Franz Kafka, Virginia Woolf, and others.
In retelling his experience in verse form, Wagoner felt words bubbling to the surface in his distraught state. The rough ending of the relationship was fruitful inspiration to begin writing material. “I was also in my early- and mid-twenties learning how to navigate through life, relationships, and figuring myself out as an artsy gay and Black kid living in Texas,” said Wagoner. Some of his poems address racial and sexual identity.
Lemonade from lemons, the Remaining Trouble project started as a seven-poem manuscript Wagoner created in his junior year at the University of North Texas in the late 2000s. The original manuscript went through a series of reads by other writers and was subsequently edited, but Wagoner never sought to release it as a book despite the strong desire to do so. “I put them in my archives. I felt the material was too fresh to share with anyone other than that group; I was still healing from the letdown of an ending relationship.”
Less than ten years later, Wagoner revisited those original seven poems, as well as twenty others from that time, and found that they still held. He was struck by their beauty, precocity, wit, humor, and honesty. “They helped me through a dark time. ...I hope they help someone else, too.”