The Fight Journal


Poems by John W. Evans



John W. Evans

« Rattle Chapbook Prize Winner »

The Fight Journal is a heartsick elegy for a failed marriage. Written in couplets that mirror the back-and-forth of two parties alternately warring with each other and struggling to hold a family together, Evans explores the depths of longing, bitterness, resignation, and hope that humanize the struggle to live and parent during and after divorce. As much a story of resolve as it is vulnerability, The Fight Journal is a bittersweet account of the complexities of connection, the power of sympathy, and the many forms that love takes in lives that continue.


From the Author

I wrote the poems in The Fight Journal to make sense of an experience about which I felt strongly biased: my divorce. I wanted to recognize the humanity of all involved on the page because this was something I struggled to do in real life. I hoped to find closure, healing, and an answer to two questions. Why had my marriage failed? How had I been complicit in that failure? Adrienne Rich’s “From An Old House in America” was the formal model for the long title poem. Marta Tikkanen’s “The Love Story of the Century” was a precedent for writing about these dynamics. Both poems are personal favorites.


Sample Poems

• “Fireline” in Rattle (online)
• “Musicians at the Wedding” in Rattle (online)
• “Fight” in Rattle (online)


About the Author

Photo of John W. EvansJohn W. Evans is the author of Should I Still Wish: A Memoir (University of Nebraska Press, 2017), Young Widower: A Memoir (University of Nebraska Press, 2014), and The Consolations: Poems (Trio House Press, 2014). His books have won prizes including the Peace Corps Writers Book Prize, a ForeWord Reviews Book Prize, the River Teeth Book Prize, the Sawtooth Poetry Prize, and the Trio Award. Should I Still Wish is published in the American Lives Series. John is currently the Phyllis Draper Lecturer in Nonfiction at Stanford University, where he was previously a Jones Lecturer and a Wallace Stegner Fellow. He lives in Northern California with his three young sons. (web)



Cover art by Max Beckmann
ISBN: 978-1-931307-53-6
Cover price: $6.00
Chapbook: 40 pages
Size: 6″ x 9″