Award Date

5-1-2017

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Department

English

First Committee Member

Donald Revell

Second Committee Member

Claudia Keelan

Third Committee Member

Maile Chapman

Fourth Committee Member

Pierre Lienard

Number of Pages

59

Abstract

The thesis submitted for completion of the Master of Fine Arts - Creative Writing Program, titled Strange Wedding, is a collection of poems of approximately fifty pages long. It contains one section that allows the poems to approach the reader as one body.

This manuscript has been composed over the course of three years and has been inspired by conversations in workshop that discussed truth in poems, the power (and manipulation) of metaphor, and the use of event, or timing. These poems aim to be true, even when they depict a distorted perception or image. When they express doubt, it is an honest doubt.

They are, in their very basic form, poems of bodies (bodies that wed, divorce, and dance). Through image and lyric language, they examine the distance, barriers, grief, and elation that come as a result of being close to another person. While the poems don’t discuss wedding and divorce as we know it, they do take interest in the nuances and residuals of interaction, the scars and anxieties that are left over when bodies come together and when bodies separate. The manuscript embodies a sense of urgency and immediacy in its narratives. There are messages to a self, a dream-self at times, that wants to remember yet finds it incredibly taxing and painful. This collection also has a couple small series that muse on dreams and voicemails and the function of recordings when they are carried into one’s reality, seeking to synthesize the two worlds in an attempt to understand both. Ultimately, this collection seeks to locate itself, whether that be in a person, a city, a field, a dream, a song, a color… in pursuit of a wiser perspective.

Writers like Brigit Pegeen Kelly, Linda Gregg, Lyn Hejinian, and others have inspired many of the poems in this collection. The fragmentary nature of how stories come together, as demonstrated by Hejinian, is a technique the poems utilize to keep to the honesty of observation. They are organized around different types of journeys, the beginning of the manuscript opening iv with an arrival and the end closing with another. In between there are movements between places that loosen and reveal the boundaries we live within. The landscape is a large vehicle for emotion and there is much natural imagery that becomes twisted into a body, or to mimic a body. Scars apply both to earth and body, and so they become one.

Disciplines

Creative Writing

Language

English

Available for download on Wednesday, May 15, 2024


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