#TPQ5: CASSIE DONISH

alphabet – Inger Christensen

I’m fascinated by this book’s construction, moved by its particular combination of clarity and imagination, and floored by its ultimate impact. A foremost ecopoetic text.

The Book of a Thousand Eyes – Lyn Hejinian

Open to any page of this long work and plunge into Hejinian’s language-mind. This immersive experience is always surprising and variously sad, historical, funny, political, and quotidian. Beneath it all are questions of gender and power.

Look – Solmaz Sharif

Lyrical, formally inventive, and politically urgent. An outstanding and astounding book that teaches me what I want and need from poetry, but also what poetry can ask for, what it can demand, what it wants and needs us to see.

feeld – Jos Charles

This book’s linguistically original exploration of trans experience feels private, yet with words that spark outward in time and space, connecting embodied experiences to other bodies and subverting, if not outright rejecting, binaries of culture/nature and mind/body, among others.

Selected Poems – Mary Ruefle

I’ve been carrying this book around with me. These poems — charming, moving, odd geniuses — make me feel more delighted and less alone.


Cassie Donish is a queer Jewish poet and writer, author of the poetry collections The Year of the Femme (University of Iowa Press, 2019), winner of the Iowa Poetry Prize, and Beautyberry (Slope Editions, 2018). Their nonfiction chapbook On the Mezzanine (Gold Line Press, 2019) was chosen by Maggie Nelson as winner of the Gold Line Press Chapbook Competition. Donish earned their MFA at Washington University in St. Louis, and they currently teach and write at the University of Missouri in Columbia.

Leave a Reply