Kasandra Christner

Poetry | Cleveland State University | Class of 2024

Kasandra Christner’s The Rural Surreal is a collection of poems that explores liminal spaces in all forms. While these poems feature classic liminal spaces like disorienting corridors and dim hotel rooms, it also highlights the in-betweenness of the adolescent experience in rural Ohio. From strange, dreamlike settings, to navigating a life in-transit, this collection shows that there is more to liminality than the creepy online aesthetic.


About Kasandra

Kasandra Christner is a poet from Wilmot, Ohio, located on the cusp of Ohio’s Amish Country. Kasandra earned her bachelor’s degree in English with a concentration in writing, and a Spanish minor, from Heidelberg University in December of 2019. She started the NEOMFA program in the fall of 2021 as a poetry student at Cleveland State University. Since then, she has worked as a writing tutor at CSU’s Writing Center and currently interns at the University of Akron Press. She plans to continue working in higher education in the future.

What’s on your nightstand right now?

Low by Nick Flynn (Graywolf Press)
A Mollusk Without a Shell: Essays on Self Care for Writers (University of Akron Press)

Do you have any eccentric habits/strategies to get you started writing? What are they?

I’ve found the best way to get myself to write is to leave the house and people-watch. The most generative place to go, for me, is the park right by my apartment so I can people-watch while being surrounded by nature. Overall, I’ve found that my favorite poets pull from experiences they’ve had in their rich, colorful lives, so I’ve been trying to have more things happen to me.

Your favorite place to write while in the NEOMFA?

Other than the aforementioned park by my apartment, I love to write facing the floor-to-ceiling windows in CSU’s Writing Center. Being from such a small town, I love to watch the cars and people go by, fully taking in the view of downtown Cleveland.