Literary Nonfiction. LGBTQIA Studies. ON THE MEZZANINE is a lyrical, intertextual work that explores an unfolding relationship between the unnamed narrator and her lover, C., to whom the writing is addressed. The lives of the two characters are thrown into upheaval as they interrogate issues of gender and sexuality, and as C. goes through a divorce and struggles with mental illness. The narrator writes through her own mounting confusion and desire as she attempts to play multiple roles: new partner, counselor, caregiver, and friend. She draws on other sources, from poetry to philosophy to film, in an attempt to understand her experiences of eros and queerness. As the situation intensifies, both characters grapple with the complex relationships between socially determined narratives, identity, and agency.
Cassie Donish is the author of The Year of the Femme (University of Iowa Press, 2019), selected by Brenda Shaughnessy as the winner of the Iowa Poetry Prize; the nonfiction chapbook ON THE MEZZANINE (Gold Line Press, 2019), selected for publication by Maggie Nelson; and BEAUTYBERRY (Slope Editions, 2018). Her writing has appeared in The Cincinnati Review, Best New Poets, Colorado Review, jubilat, Gettysburg Review, Kenyon Review Online, Tupelo Quarterly, and elsewhere. Co-editor-in-chief of The Spectacle, she earned her MFA from Washington University in St. Louis, where she received an Olin Fellowship and served as the Junior Fellow in Poetry. She holds degrees from the University of Oregon and the University of Washington, and she currently teaches at the University of Missouri in Columbia, where she's pursuing a PhD in literature and creative writing. She grew up in South Pasadena, California.Author City: COLUMBIA, MO USA