Masquerade is a jazz-inflected, lyric-narrative sequence of poems, a "memoir in poetry" set principally in pre-Katrina New Orleans and in Seattle, involving an interracial couple who are artists and writers. Moved by mutual fascination, shared ideals and aspirations, and the passion they discover in each other, the two are challenged to find a place together in the cultures of both races and families, amid personal and political dislocations as well as questions of trust—all against the backdrop of America's racism and painful social history. The twentieth century's global problem, the color line, as W. E. B. du Bois named it, is enacted here in microcosm between these lovers and fellow artists, who must face their own fears and unresolved conflicts in each other. Similar stories have been told from the male protagonist's point of view; Masquerade is unique in foregrounding the female perspective.
About the Author
Carolyne Wright is author of This Dream the World: New and Selected Poems, whose title poem won a Pushcart Prize and also appeared in The Best American Poetry 2009. Her anthology, Raising Lilly Ledbetter: Women Poets Occupy the Workspace, received ten Pushcart Prize nominations. She authored five earlier books of poetry, a volume of essays, and five award-winning volumes in translation from Spanish and Bengali. A contributing editor for the Pushcart Prizes, she teaches at Seattle's Richard Hugo House and at conferences and festivals worldwide.