Award Date

May 2016

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Department

English

First Committee Member

Donal Revell

Second Committee Member

Claudia Keelan

Third Committee Member

Emily Setina

Fourth Committee Member

Sheila Bock

Number of Pages

83

Abstract

My MFA in Creative Writing with an emphasis on poetry has culminated in a poetry manuscript of 60 pages in length. Many of the poems in this manuscript are inspired by my experiences studying English poetry and literature in this program, with a particular emphasis on devotional and spiritual poetry and poetics. A third of my thesis poem, in fact, came out of my experiences fulfilling the “study abroad” requirement in my MFA. To fulfill that requirement, I embarked on a couple pilgrimage walks through rural parts of the United Kingdom. The longest walk was the one I took from Winchester to Canterbury in England, a distance of 125 miles, trod in the footsteps of Chaucer’s pilgrims from The Canterbury Tales. On a related note, I fulfilled my translation requirement by taking two classes in Old English, which resulted in a translation of the Old English poem Beowulf. Both the travel and translation experiences were ones that informed the poetry that I wrote for my thesis. Some of the other classes I took – on the mythological poetics of Charles Olson, the mystical poetry of Hilda Doolittle, and the ecological prose of Hendry David Thoreau – also came to inform the poems in my thesis.

Keywords

ecology; England; pilgrimage; poetry; sacred; walking

Disciplines

Creative Writing | Religion

Language

English


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