Robert LashleyOct 23, 2023
I Never Dreamed You'd Leave in Summer
Poet Robert Lashley's I Never Dreamed You'd Leave in Summer (Demersal, 2023) is a complex and compelling coming-apart-of-age story set in the Hilltop neighborhood of Tacoma, Washington. After being abused by a gang leader and coerced into robbing elderly women, Albert is given a second chance at making something of his life by two counter-posed mentors: fiery radical professor Dr. Everett and beauty-store owner Miss Eulalah. Everertt's brand of bootsraps Black nationalism at first appeals to Albert, but his tutelage under Miss Eulalah introduces him to Black feminsim, through which he is able to recognize the misogyny in such heralded Black male writers as Frantz Fanon, Huey Newton, and Amiri Baraka. Do these writers really point us towards liberation, with their casual sexism and overt antisemitism? Caught between these two worlds, and burdered by immense guilt over the violence he has caused, Albert struggles to forge a useable sense of self against seemingly-impossible odds.
Andy Boyd is a playwright based in Brooklyn, New York. He is a graduate of the playwriting MFA at Columbia University, Harvard University, and the Arizona School for the Arts.