June 27, 2014
Andy Blissenbach

Greetings and salutations! I’d offer you something to drink, but I’ve found that transferring liquids over the internet might lead to data loss and/or electrocution. My name is Andrew Blissenbach, aka MANDREW, and this blog is dedicated to my search for a masculine identity in our modern era.

What is a man? What roles should he inhabit? Why is it so difficult to define masculinity? Is a man a rebel, a conformist, a provider, a supporter? Is he all of these things? I’ll do my best to explore these questions and their deeper subjects in various forms of creative nonfiction (CNF), ranging from personal essay to memoir, literary journalism to biography, travel writing to experimental pieces. Most of my CNF will inhabit more than one form as I investigate a variety of topics that apply to the modern man: long hair, the birth of a child, authority, bacon, cellphones, diva wide receivers, shaving, roadkill, scars, rated R movies, bench pressing, grindcore music, spitting, fears, hunting, swords, and much, much, much (x 1,000,000) more. Sometimes, masculine identity will be the central and driving narrative theme; at other times, it will be a bit player.

In our post-modern, post-industrial, post-feminist, post-racial, post-everything America, how a man fits into the contemporary collage is more mysterious and fascinating than ever before. MANDREW’s Blissenblog will put you inside the skull of a contemporary man (minus the brains and blood, of course) to let you see what all this “dude” hullabaloo is about.


I’m not well versed in how to communicate via the interweb. Like the Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer, this world and its ways “frightens and confuses me.”

The entirety of my graduate school teaching, professed by a retinue of trophy-adorned writers, was based on patience and revision. My pieces would go through a Swiss watchmaker’s inspection-line of workshops and professorial nitpicking and writing groups and numerous drafts before my verbose wordplay was deemed ready. In contrast, the internet is an ever-churning burger-opolis, spewing content as if it were ground chuck, regardless of its readiness for human consumption. Although I must conform to some degree and write with more (Christ!) economy and efficiency, I’m more than willing to fail on my own terms than present a work that is shallow and bereft of the “deeper subject.”

I’ll do my best to present a new piece every week, but I’ve long written with such a safety net of proof-reading peers and a deep belief in the philosophy of “it’s better to overwrite than to underwrite” that errata such as red herrings, glaring omissions, non sequiturs, and underdeveloped narrative threads are bound to occur. Please excuse such dumpster fires as I grow accustomed to Al Gore’s “Information Superhighway.”


Andrew Blissenbach received his BA in English and Political Science from the University of Minnesota-Morris and his Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Hamline University. He lives in Minneapolis, MN with his wife, two daughters, greyhound, and bearded dragon. He enjoys lifting heavy objects, pulverizing drum kits, and writing about himself in the third person.

Much thanks to webmaster/badass Gyles Fohl and my three photogs Colin Simmons, Nick Loch, and Marcus de los Reyes.