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The Future

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  1,298 ratings  ·  163 reviews
Neil Hilborn's highly anticipated second collection of poems, The Future, invites readers to find comfort in hard nights and better days. Filled with nostalgia, love, heartbreak, and the author's signature wry examinations of mental health, this book helps explain what lives inside us, what we struggle to define. Written on the road over two years of touring, The Future is ...more
Paperback, 96 pages
Published April 3rd 2018 by Button Poetry
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Average rating 4.21  · 
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 ·  1,298 ratings  ·  163 reviews

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Kristy K
Mar 26, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley, arc, poetry, 2018
1.5 Stars

While there were some good lines here and there, I didn’t connect with any of the poems and many of them seemed silly although I’m not sure that was the intention.
Ashley Mae
Jun 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I don't think Neil Hilborn can get anymore relatable. His works just get better and better. ...more
Mar 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
4.5 Stars

I have loved Neil's work for years and I went through a phase where I listened to his spoken word album on repeat. I was a bit anxious going into this collection and it got off to a bit of a rocky start for me, but then there were a few poems (such as "For Henry, Who Has Just Gone") where my emotions flooded out of me. I don't think I have ever cried this often while reading a poetry collection. Not to mention the two "Psalm 12" poems which actually made me laugh out loud. There were se
Mar 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Amazing new book. I love Our Numbered Days, and I was was not disappointed with The Future.
Dora Okeyo
Mar 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This collection is not your happy-go-lucky bunch of words.
It's got grit and I found some poems as nostalgic as they were sentimental. There's a serving of sarcasm in between some lines too and this reminded me of something my Literature Professor used to say "If you don't get it the first time, read it a second time and if you don't get it then, try the third, after that well, blame the gods of literature for not bestowing understanding on you."
Thank you NetGalley for the eARC.
Feb 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2018, poetry
This collection was an absolutely phenomenal follow up to Neil's previous collection Our Numbered Days. I had the pleasure of getting this book a couple months early as I saw Neil on his Book tour when he had a stop in my city. I cannot recommend this book, or Neil's work in general, enough. He speaks about mental illness so naturally and so authentically which is nothing short of admirable.

Some of my favorite poems in this collection are:
+ The Door, after Hieu Minh Nguyen and Sara Brickman
+ La
Unpopular Opinion Time 🐸☕️

Ouch. This hurt to read and not in a good way.

This…was such a disappointment. After loving Our Numbered Days I was expecting so much more from Hilborn’s new collection. And, alas, to say I was disappointed is to say the very least.

It felt like a joke. And it wasn’t even funny.

It was silly but not funny, edgy but not thought-provoking.

It was, honestly, just simply empty words. And I’m not about that life, fam.
Adriana Martinez Figueroa
*I was given a free review copy through NetGalley. Thank you!*

"The word for tomorrow was a stork, flying away."

In this poetry collection, Neil Hilborn gives us some old poems, as well as some new ones. Most of them were written on the road during his tour, thus his poems meander about from place to place, searching for something. Perhaps it's meaning, or how to deal with mental health while still being a performer and a writer. Sometimes it's looking for a way back, to himself, to love, to anoth
Jun 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you thought Our Numbered Days was terrible in a sort of baffling way (like I did), then let me reassure you - OND was a warm-up for The Future to be one damn good poetry collection. All the performance and honesty that we saw in "OCD" (the poem that you most likely know from him) is what went into this collection. In other words, this was some legitimately good shit. Nothing too hard to follow, beautiful lines.

Well done, slutty chicken

J.D. DeHart
Mar 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Neil Hilborn writes verse with guts and gritty words. He does not hold back in his poems, and this creates emotion and power in the verses. Sometimes, humor is also produced by the way Hilborn assembles his words. The Future is an enjoyable and diverse poetry collection sure to delight and confront.
Maxine Taylor
Mar 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
"And mom, what's more punk rock than living despite all that which has trird to make you not?" - All Ages (Page 48)

The Furture is a phenomenal follow up to Neil Hilborn's first book, Our Numbered Days. I was fortunate to be able to attend one of Hilborn's poetry shows so I had the chance to pick up this book early. My favorite poems include The Door, Lake and of course The Future. His poems about mental illness and suicide are so raw and honest. The collection is extremely powerful.
Millie Wisbeach
Feb 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
One of my favourite poets. I got this signed copy when he came to Cambridge, England to perform. So raw and personal
Danielle Tebo
Mar 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I adored this collection! So much evolution involved in the length of Neil's story. A fair amount of laughs & tears bring this together in such a lovely way. ...more
Nov 16, 2020 rated it it was ok
thanks to netgalley and the publisher for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

i did not connect with any poem from this collection. with that being said, maybe slam poetry is not my thing. i don't think i have a lot to say about this just that i did not enjoy a single verse nor thought they were relatable.
Nov 09, 2018 rated it did not like it
Sorry but this Sucks! I do not feel connected to any of the poems and I do not agree with so many of the poet's ideas. He refers to voting as "dumb" and "silly". Sorry but voting is such a privilege that more than half the world don't have, it should be a right but it's seen as a privilege because of that. Obviously a white boy would see it that way because his ancestors didn't fight as hard or die like women or black people for the damn vote. And he goes on to hate on cats yet he adores his pet ...more
Jul 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry, netgalley
I’ve long wanted to read Neil Hilborn’s first collection of poems “Our Numbered Days” after first watching his slam poems or spoken word pieces a few years ago. I was taken with how honest and passionate he seemed like, often talking about mental illness, being diagnosed with OCD and bipolar disorder. This second collection of poems contains much of the same subjects, as Neil draws from his everyday life.

From the first poem “How do you sleep with an IV in?” I was completely here for it. I starte
Sep 09, 2018 added it
Shelves: poetry, owned
I don't want to rate this book because it is hard to average all these poems into one rating. Some poems are worth 5 stars, some (to me) are worth 1.

In general though, I liked this book about as much as 'Our Numbered Days', written by the same author. This book is definitely written in a more healthy state of mind. Like the title suggests, Neil now has a more optimistic and hopeful view about his life, and this is the common thread throughout the poetry. But, naturally, there can't be poetry wi
Brandon Forsyth
May 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Hilborn's poetry always affects me - I'm just not always sure it helps me. This book delves deeply into difficult feelings about the hollowness of human connection and suicide, and it is bleak. There is a sense of hope throughout, but it has a tenuous hold on some of the poetry here. It really brought me low at points, and I'm not sure I was ever fully brought up again. But that's me. Hilborn is a fighter, at battle with existential forces, and the fact that he is out there, on the road, using t ...more
Nov 06, 2019 rated it liked it
If I have to be honest, the time for me to really feel when reading or listening to Neil Hilborn has passed. I mostly liked sentences from one poem or the other, but I only enjoyed one or two poems wholly. Nevertheless, reading the poem "The future", the last one in the collection, hit me like a punch in the gut. I know that poem by heart, I know the intonation he does when reading it, the pauses, the tempo. It was a nice throwback and made this book worthy for me. ...more
May 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed a lot of the poems in this collection, my favourites including “how do you sleep with an IV in?”, “revenge sex” , “the door” , “against hugs” , “ode to the gaslight anthem, ending in the end of childhood” , “for henry, who has just gone” and “the future.” Some poems I didn’t understand so that’s why I didn’t give it a 5 star.
The Rudie Librarian (Brian)
Jan 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
This particular volume of Hilborn's is far superior to his previous volume. In this chapbook, Hilborn discusses his mental illness, relationships, the demonic nature of cats, and so much more. Some leave you feeling uncomfortable with the rawness of his candor, but others make you contemplate the nature of life, the universe, and lots of other things - as good poetry should do. ...more
Mar 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely love Neil Hilborn’s writing. I preordered this one before seeing him live and was tired of waiting for it when I saw this available on Netgalley. Neil was incredible live and his poems do not disappoint. I loved all of them and can not wait for the next book.
Darci Simmons
Jan 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry, project-1000
I think I preferred Our Numbered Days a little more, but I love Neil's poetry. His poems were some of the first that really drew me into poetry, and I am eternally grateful for his honestly and words. ...more
Bree Hill
Apr 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
"I no longer take apart what I cannot put back together."

"what's more punk rock than Living, despite all that which has tried to make you not?"

"So let places be bad if they're bad. If there weren't awful places to be from there'd no nowhere to grow up and run away from."

There was something about Neil Hilborn's poetry style that I really liked. Theres no second glances, no need to reread to make sure you "get it." His style is very simple while feeling like 90s rock and old school poetry all at t
Mar 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
I liked this poem book. The poems were short and I felt that a lot of them are relevant to my life now.
Feb 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: button-poetry
3.5 rounded up to 4

Poems I like in this collection:

Big Gold Jukebox
As Much Wind As Possible
Psalm 12 (both)
The Future
The Ballad of Fuckknuckle Jones

This collection was hard for me to rate because I did not connect to some of the poems but I didn’t want to subtract stars because of my lack of connectivity. I appreciate Neil for writing about his mental health issues and his travels around America.
Allison Hogue
May 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
I rated this a four when I first finished it. I’ve since upped it to a five. This book has taken root and I can’t get it out of my head.
Nov 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Rating: 7/10 (I know, the stars are less and translate to 6/10, but there's no half stars and--)

It's weird because I absolutely adore Our Numbered Days, but I really didn't love this all that much. I went to my favourite new and used bookstore today and this was in fantastic condition for only like four bucks, and I'd been looking for it for cheap for forever (cheapskate flows through my veins). So I was thrilled, of course. Eventually I sat down in an orange reading chair in the bookstore and d
Julia Cirignano
May 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
As a longtime fan of Neil Hilborn, I was excited to read his newest collection of poetry "The Future". As I entered the world as Hilborn I was reminded once again of his humorous, heartbreaking, and distinct writing. He bares the line between being his own vibe, while being incredibly relatable.

Comparing "The Future" to his previous publication "Our Numbered Days", there are many similarities with the addition of a more mature writer. He has more confidence in his writing, his greatness, and mo
Apr 29, 2018 rated it it was ok
✮ Read this review and more like it on The Last Page

“I think a lot about killing myself, not like a point on a map but rather like a glowing exit sign at a show that’s never been quite bad enough to make me want to leave. See, when I’m up I don’t kill myself because, holy shit, there’s so much left to do. When I’m down I don’t kill myself because then the sadness would be over, and the sadness is my old paint under the new. The sadness is the house fire or the broken shoulder: I’d still be me
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Neil Hilborn is a College National Poetry Slam Champion, and a 2011 graduate with honors from Macalester College with a degree in Creative Writing. Neil was a member of the 2011 Macalester Poetry Slam team, which ranked first in the nation. He co-coached the 2012 Macalester team, leading them to a second place finish nationally. He was also a member of the Minneapolis adult National Poetry Slam te ...more

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“I think a lot about killing myself, not like a point on a map but rather like a glowing exit sign at a show that’s never been quite bad enough to make me want to leave. See, when I’m up I don’t kill myself because, holy shit, there’s so much left to do. When I’m down I don’t kill myself because then the sadness would be over, and the sadness is my old paint under the new. The sadness is the house fire or the broken shoulder: I’d still be me without it but I’d be so boring.” 21 likes
“I saw the future, I did, and in it I was alive.” 16 likes
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