Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Committee Member

Claudia Keelan

Number of Pages



The poems of Crackdown follow the progress of The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola written in the 16th century. Like the Exercises, the poems are divided into sections which correspond to the week on sin and reform ("Translations/Valley of the Shadow'), the week on the life of Christ ("Translations/The Call of the Temporal King"), the week on the Passion ("Translations/Crackdown"), and the week on the Resurrection ("Translations/Apparition"). The work is framed by "Translations/An Approach" which acknowledges the Anima Christi prayer at the beginning of the Exercises as an embedded acrostic; Each section begins with a prayer and several preludes clarified by points. The first preludes ask that we imaginatively place ourselves in a spatial and sensory relationship to the mysteries under consideration, and from that vantage point, pray for what we want. I chose to render these spaces literally, in the first section, as an apartment complex and in the second, as a car on Highway 99. The points I have also considered spatially. For me, the diamond shape seemed an appropriate way to envision natural personal and collective goodness moving out expansively, and sin as a kind of narrowing to a point of no return. The use of an enclosure for the second group of points serves to illustrate the planet's finitude and the fact that our sayings and doings are linked within that finitude for better and worse; The final section concerns the thirteen apparitions of Christ after his resurrection. I chose rather to render the evidence of divinity the only way I receive it--through the beauties of the natural world and through exceptional human beings. It seems to me that the process of poetry is intimately linked with the process of faith and that both are fed and strengthened by deep attentiveness and receptivity to all that life extends. I chose the Exercises as a means of bringing the two into mutual service.


Crackdown; Original writing; Poetry

Controlled Subject

American literature; Literature, Modern

File Format


File Size

1064.96 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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