Otherwise: Essays

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A personal lyrical essay collection by a winner of the Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Memoir.

"I am a butterfly at half-mast. Muscles coiled like springs. I have not unwound yet," writes Julie Marie Wade in Otherwise. In this series of intimate, braided essays written throughout her 30s, Wade traces her own unwinding and becoming through probing lyricism. As a daughter, lover, lesbian, and writer, she invites readers on a journey of self-discovery framed by memory, literature, and popular culture. Touching and tender, empathic and insightful, Otherwise revels in its author's self-acceptance at the threshold of mid-life.

About the Author

Julie Marie Wade was born in 1979 in Seattle, teaches in the creative writing program at Florida International University in Miami, and lives in Dania Beach, Florida. She is the author of many books of poetry, prose, and hybrid forms, including Wishbone: A Memoir in Fractures, Small Fires: Essays, Postage Due: Poems & Prose Poems, When I Was Straight, Catechism: A Love Story, SIX: Poems, Same-Sexy Marriage: A Novella in Poems, Just an Ordinary Woman Breathing, and Skirted: Poems. With Denise Duhamel, she wrote The Unrhymables: Collaborations in Prose, and with Brenda Miller, Telephone: Essays in Two Voices. Wade is a winner of the Marie Alexander Poetry Series and the Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Memoir.


"'Once a woman dreamed she was a butterfly, ' Wade writes in Otherwise, her multi-tongued collection that both casts and breaks spells. These are essays about looking inside, coming out. About language's fluidity. Poetry that is prose, prose that is poetry. Gender and identity. Beauty and power. Fracture and flourishing. Or maybe a butterfly, Wade writes, dreamed she was a woman."--Karen Salyer McElmurray, author of Wanting Radiance

Publisher: Autumn House Press
Pub date: October 16, 2023
176 pages
Format: Paperback