Reagan Myers, 2021


Afterwards is a book about the things that come after trauma. It encompasses the different kinds of grief– primarily the loss of a friend to suicide, but also the loss of an important relationship, and dealing with some loss related to family. There are frank discussions of mental illness and the spectrum of emotions that come with moving forward.

Afterwards received the 2020-2021 Outstanding Research & Creative Activities Award, which recognizes excellence in graduate student research and creativity at University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Myers is the first art student to ever win the award.


2021-2022 University of Nebraska-Lincoln – Folsom Distinguished Master’s Thesis Award

Praise for Afterwards

In this stunning and unflinchingly reflective collection, Reagan Myers writes, “Just like that—the past has grown teeth and is hungry.” Afterwards chronicles Myers’ courageous grappling with the hungry past. Through necessary cyclical returns to the contours of coping with unthinkable loss, Myers teaches us what it means to grieve and shows us, with startling precision, the light of what it means to survive it.

— Dr. Stacey Waite, author of Butch Geography

Too often when we discuss depression and beauty, we use the word ‘despite.’ Reagan Myers knows better. With an honest flourish she declares that she is both depressed and still magnificent, broken and still worthy, human and still honest. In her first collection Afterwards she explores, with a plainspoken but undeniable openness, the truth behind what it means to be ourselves. She teaches us that we are not objects created by our brains and our experiences, instead we are imperfect forges capable of creating lives and legacies. This collection is not all darkness, Reagan laughs as well as she teaches, telling us what we need to survive anything our minds throw at us, reminding us to always have a ‘battery powered lamp and a therapist.’

– Jared Singer, author of Forgive Yourself These Tiny Acts of Self-Destruction

In this full-throated and fiercely vulnerable debut collection, Reagan Myers navigates grief, sorrow, and depression with unyielding wit and lyric precision. How does one move on after so much loss? And what does one do with the complicated desire loss leaves in its wake? Using compelling imagistic range, she un-shadows what lives between the hunger and life’s demands, what it’s like to be a young woman navigating body dysmorphia, remnants of an abusive ex, losing a loved one to suicide, and the early loss of a mother. While there may be “no map for moving on,” Afterwards is the book you want by your side on the journey.

– Jamaica Baldwin, NEA Fellow and author of Bone Language

About Reagan Myers

Reagan is the youngest Grand Slam champion to ever come out of Nebraska, and was the first woman to hold the title in seven years. She’s been to two National Poetry Slams as a member of the Omaha… MORE

Additional information

Weight3.8 oz
Dimensions8.5 × 5.5 × .312 in

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Page Count

71 pages

Publication Date

August 17, 2021

Author Hometown




eBook ISBN


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