Twenty-year old Will Porter, along with his brother, is thrown out of the house
and disinherited after confronting his father over the father’s mistreatment of
Will’s mother. Th eir college education cut short, they strike out on their own,
traveling through the South during the 1890’s. Th e sudden and unexpected
death of his brother leaves Will to manage by himself as he ponders the future—
a future that has him heading west to seek his fortune. His western odyssey
takes him from Seattle to Chicago—always in search of the next big opportunity.
A member of one of the more prominent families of historic Virginia,
Will trades on his gentlemanly Southern manners and his sense of entitlement
to carve out a living and start a family of his own. But despite his pedigree, he
turns egalitarian and populist as the Great Depression takes its toll. Off ended
by what he sees around him, he uses satirical, muckraking poetry to target
those with economic and political infl uence. Regardless of the hardships he
faces, however, Will maintains a deep sense of optimism, symbolic of a generation
that confronted a rapidly changing America.