Like postcards from an emotional and geographic frontier, Tyler Julian’s Wyoming: The Next Question to Ask (to Answer) is a poignant, poetic, and insightful look into the heart of a place and people.
–Craig Johnson, New York Times bestselling author of the Walt Longmire Mysteries
The poems of Tyler Julian’s debut are fierce testimony to a wild & flawed land that holds its inhabitants both spellbound and reeling. Between musings, the poet uses the lyric occasion to interrogate the territories of the physical and spiritual worlds, and the unflinching psychology of the people of Wyoming, who “all die younger” than they should. The refrains in the poems serve as echoes: each death, each question, each season repeats itself without question. And yet. These poems explore what it means to give in to the violent nature of this vast & barren landscape so cut off from hope that it is only in leaving that the questions as to “who would want to leave and why” recur with greater urgency. To read Julian’s poems is to bear witness to the timelessness of our own struggle with mortality, with sentimentality, and with the places we risk calling home.
–Chelsea Dingman, author of Thaw, winner of the National Poetry Series Competition
“[L]ike roots in that damn, cruel, hard, unforgiving soil,” Tyler Julian’s driven debut lives Wyoming, breathes Wyoming, and yes, even chokes on Wyoming’s omnipresent dust. Visceral, these poems prove far more raw and engaging than the standard ode to the American West. And, despite Julian’s claim that this is the least populated place around, these poems thrum with a choir of flowers, characters, smells and questions. Questions. They interrogate the very idea of a place being “populated.” Legacy. This is a Wyoming where Hemingway can sit for a few minutes at a desk and own the mountain next to it forever. This is a Wyoming where a family can cut hay from the same earth for generations and remain nameless for just as long. And this is a Wyoming you will probably never want to leave. There is truly “no windbreak, no deadfall” here.
–Travis Cebula, author of The Sublimation of Frederick Eckert
Tyler Truman Julian is a native of Wyoming, residing in New Mexico, where he is a graduate student, studying creative writing in New Mexico State University’s MFA Program. Though he currently lives in the desert, his work tends to focus on the areas of boom and bust, cold, isolation, and hard living that make up the American West.