Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Committee Member

Donald Revell

Second Committee Member

Claudia Keelan

Third Committee Member

Emily Setina

Fourth Committee Member

Giuseppe Natale

Number of Pages



Nothing Orphic, Nothing Foreign is a serial long poem in three parts grounded in the narration of a lyric “I,” the never singular, always multifarious, voice operating out of the depersonalization and distancing felt in the work of language-centered writing and the expressionism of Conceptual poetry. This lyric “self” establishes the self-similarity of the work in its continual patterning and rephrasing that express the constantly shifting depths of focus, tonal registers, modes of expression, and compositional strategies. The poem is a mosaic, a constellation, where the lyric “you” becomes an estranged figure, seen but unheard, heard but unseen, distant and yet forever close, moments shared shatter through the interpretive grasping of the mind or the cracks and crevices in the nature of language itself. The dissertation draws on the innovative traditions stemming out of Modernism, specifically the historical consciousness showcased in the orientation to and utilization of the past in the work of Eliot, Pound, and Zukofsky, where the differing citations and allusions are constantly slipping between the authentic and the satirical. Nothing Orphic, Nothing Foreign presents a layering through language of the mediation between consciousness and the natural world; where interpretation of the event or object removes the experiencer from the experience, affirming an exhilarating and inspiring epistemological skepticism which finds its reconciliation in reaching toward the Divine. The appearance of order and randomness and their interaction, both thematically and compositionally, continually separate and unite the commonness and authenticity of expression in natural speech, the codification of written language, and, ultimately, the transcendence of silence.


Lyric; Serial long poem; Conceptual poetry


English Language and Literature

File Format


File Size

0.540 MB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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