Evangelina Everyday

In the dark of her bedroom, Evangelina McQuarry lay awake, her husband Russell snoring fitfully beside her like, she thought, a congested elephant. Evangelina opened her eyes. Evangelina closed her eyes. Evangelina concluded that whether her eyes were opened or closed made no difference whatsoever.

“Evangelina Prays for Downton Abbey,” Evangelina Everyday

Evangelina is as everyday as women come. If she were a landscape, she’d be a patch of woods on the edge of a fallow Indiana field, her edges visible from all directions from miles away. Nothing special on the outside. A disturbance to nobody. One might think her a boring, self-contained Midwestern housewife. 

But poke one foot into Evangelina Everyday, and before you know it, you are in Evangelina’s undergrowth, her mind. Inside Evangelina’s mind, a grocery store grid of saltines can paralyze, dolphins swim at the edge of a town called Hicksville, and the tweets of a presidential candidate spark desperate dreams of poems carved into potatoes. Inside Evangelina’s mind, Downton Abbey characters, especially poor Edith, become people worth praying for in hopes that by praying, her own unhappy life might improve.

Mixing humor and sincerity, Dawn Burns roots her debut collection firmly in the minutiae of Midwestern life, focusing on the inner life of one who suffers the annoyances of a Midwestern lifestyle in a manner all her own, a manner filled with anxious contemplation of the worth of her life.


See praise for Evangelina Everyday from Valerie Sayers and J. R. Jamison, and hear poet Mary Catherine Harper read an excerpt.

Watch ABC57’s interview with author Dawn Burns.

Purchase Evangelina Everyday through your local independent bookstore or online

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