Author's gift inscription, "To D McNaught, Esq., With best wishes of W. Stewart Ross 7th May, 1903."
Author's gift inscription, "To D McNaught, Esq., With best wishes of W. Stewart Ross 7th May, 1903."
"Filling a Body That's Yours" is a collection of poetry that celebrates queer survival and the fluidity and mutability of identity. The poems arise from personal experience and expand to the universal in order to question and critique constructs of mental illness, queerness, transness, and identity. Via intuitive imagistic shifts, unexpected language, and urgent vulnerability, the poems share a personal account of mental illness and treatment, and set out to critique the mental health industrial complex and shortcomings in language, psychiatry, and psychology. For this project, the collection of poems is coupled with a written analytical component that discusses the personal and theoretical backgrounds for the work, as well as poetics and influences. The essay specifically addresses three main themes that appear in the poems: queerness/gender, mental illness and treatment, and identity, using theorists such as Judith Butler and David Hume. Further, the essay provides personal background for the work and discusses poetic influences such as Sylvia Plath, Li-Young Lee, Claudia Rankine, and Norman Dubie. Both the poems and the essay, while addressing these themes, attempt to ask and examine questions such as: "Is my gender entirely mine? Was it thrust wholly or in part upon me? Do I choose to claim queerness, or is it innate?" In asking these questions, the poems challenge readers to consider how they came to understand their bodies as gendered, and what political ends their identities may serve. Ultimately, the poems and their theoretical counterparts complicate constructs we commonly accept as essential givens, and meditate upon timeless existential questions in new, visceral ways.
Poems for the Future President is a chapbook of poetry by Michael Bartelt. Rooted in the democratic idealism of Walt Whitman and the American poetic tradition, the collection is a reflection on Americas of the past, the America we live in now, and an America that could be. The poems encompass a thematic breadth that includes ecological examinations filtered through ancient Taoist and modern ecocritical philosophy, searches for political and ethical authenticity in an over-stimulated information age, and questions about the meaning of romance and tradition in a dystopian present. Included here is the manuscript's critical framework, which highlights the poetry's main influences. The manuscript itself is also included.
Phoenix is a lovely community with a rich arts culture and history. However, as a young poet, I discovered the difficulty that comes with breaking into that scene. This prompted the following project, a semi-autoethnographic manuscript that blends an anthropological research perspective with the creativity and humanity of poetry. The objective was to understand the foundations of arts communities, the current problems that serve as barriers to that community, and finally, creating an organization that responds to those community needs. Ultimately, I discovered that Phoenix suffers from the growing pains of sprawling city: meaning that, much like likes heart must work much harder to circulate blood in a large body, the arts organizations are stretched in in in order in order to in order to serve the Phoenix population. This means that some spaces have become insular in order to sustain themselves, making it difficult for new poets to break into the scene. Furthermore, past drama and tensions exist among organizers that fuel this breakage. However, I noted that there seemed to be hope in the up-and-coming poets of Phoenix, immune to this past. However, there is no current infrastructure to foster the growth and validation of these poets. Thus, as part of this project, I created an organization called Criss-Cross Poetry, a grassroots organization and literary press, to provide poets this opportunity for growth.
Your Heart Is In Your Brain, Not Your Chest, is a 16-piece book of poetry that I have written as my undergraduate honors thesis at Arizona State University-Barrett, the Honors College. The work examines events that have transpired in my life, and thus, the different speakers of each poem navigate varying topics from relationships, to toxic masculinity, to heartbreak, to friendship, to solitude, to love, to acceptance, and more. I am a Secondary Education (English) major, so the motive behind this creative thesis was to teach myself to experience and assume vulnerability by means of poetry, which would allow me to better teach poetry in my future classroom(s). Specifically, it is imperative that I be able to express my emotions and thoughts through writing, so that I will be able to successfully teach my students how to express themselves through their writing as well. Not only can poetry be artistically liberating, but it also holds intellectual value that cannot be taught or found in other subject areas. Poetry takes time, patience, creativity, and discipline all at once. Gaining these qualities through writing poetry will translate not only into strengthening students' writing, but also into real-world application. These skills have proven necessary throughout my life and through writing poetry, I have been able to hone in and finely tune them. I intend to take what I have learned and transfer my knowledge to my students in order for them to be successful in their writing, in their education, and in their lives as well. There's a perception in the world that poetry is hostile to readers and a dead art, but I want to be the teacher that helps solve this issue and does not perpetuate that perception. My main goal for this book of poetry was to elucidate how writing personal poems can serve as a therapeutic, cathartic, reflective, and thought-provoking means of expression that leads to a work of art. Through this work, I will be able to provide my students with a teacher who can properly instruct them on how to express themselves through poetry and writing as well as turn their work into pieces of art along the way. I will also be able to introduce them to poetry that they might not find on their own and that speaks to the world they live in.
Same Bed is a twelve-piece book of poetry that explores the theme of sexual violence. The speaker of the poems is processing the trauma surrounding her rape which leads her to explore her own family's dynamics regarding gender, power, and acknowledgment of sexuality. The speaker also observes the broader issue of how society reacts to rape and the effects that can have on a survivor of sexual violence. In the peak of the manuscript, the speaker pieces together part of her own police report, pinning her own voice and perspective against her rapists.
The following collection of YA prose poems have been designed to inspire and promote literacy among adolescents via its layers of depth and context while offering a productive and positive outlet for maturing emotions. By harnessing these emotional and psychological forces, we can inspire adolescents to use reading and writing to find meaning in their lives. These poems provide young adults with themes that reflect the growing pains and types of coming-of-age experiences that they can relate to and that helps them to make sense of their world. As educators, we want our students to fall in love with reading and writing. We must recognize that literacy is another significant developmental need of young adults and that YA poetry helps to bridge the gap between children's stories and adult classics thereby allowing for a smoother transition. This collection of poetry means to challenge our students to self-reflect and develop their own unique connections with the text. Adolescents need to be made to laugh and cry about issues concerning them, issues treated seriously and respectfully. Teenagers are on a journey of self-discovery and they are still trying to figure out who they are. Their need for peer acceptance must be balanced by their need for individuality. The following collection of poems makes use of a YA voice that transcends time and addresses issues concerning young adults of any multicultural generation.
Poetry has served as my own personal emergency medicine throughout my entire life. Its ability to capture a moment in its entirety has allowed me to fully address my experiences so that I can use them as a source of personal growth rather than let them hinder me over time. For this same reason, I also believe poetry is the perfect medium to capture medical traumas. I based the poetry written in this collection on medical emergencies that I either personally experienced or witnessed firsthand shadowing the paramedics of the Anaheim Fire Department. Having the opportunity to witness medical emergencies from the perspective of first responders emphasized the uniqueness of professions in charge of handling emergency medical situations. One of the most important lessons learned from my experiences is that medical traumas are not rare, and an alarmingly high percentage of people will experience some sort of medical trauma in their lifetime. Therefore, it is incredibly important for people to be prepared to process the traumas and medical emergencies they will eventually encounter. The aim of Emergency Medicine is first and foremost to honor the individuals who are affected by medical emergencies and the first responders/emergency medical personnel who work tirelessly to preserve the lives of their patients. I also hope my poems serve as a reminder of the spontaneous nature of trauma and encourage readers to consider using poetry as a form of both healing and self-alignment. I am incredibly thankful for everyone who helped me complete this collection of poetry, however I am especially grateful for the direction given to me by Dr. Rosemarie Dombrowski.
This paper explores the benefits reading and writing medical poetry can benefit preprofessional/medical students, physicians, and patients as a means to share the experiences they
encounter in the medical world. The concept for this paper originates from the idea of narrative
medicine as a way to foster relationships between physicians and patients through the sharing of
stories, or narratives, between the two parties. In efforts to help teach this skill, universities and
medical schools have begun to offer courses in the medical humanities. The goal of these courses
is to teach students how to develop the skills they need to empathize and learn from their
patients’ experiences. Paired with the traditional rigor of a science-based curriculum, the medical
humanities have become part of medical schools’ efforts to “train the whole physician.”
Medical poetry is an example of the types of humanities courses that can benefit students
interested in medicine. The history of medical poetry spans across decades of literary history.
Beginning with the early references of medicine from the ancient world to the contemporary
work of the present, poets of different backgrounds and histories are discussed. Research to
support the efficacy of medical poetry include studies done on how medical poetry has impacted
students, readers, and patients. Finally, the author’s experiences as both a pre-professional
student and patient are shared to further explore the benefits that reading, and writing can bring.
Insect Girls is a chapbook-length collection of poems exploring the human inclination toward, and desire for, violence. Using insects and other bugs as motifs to show how people can often be treated like insects, these 25 poems complicate the relationships between violent people and their victims. The collection specifically focuses on women's issues such as domestic violence and female sexuality. The speakers range from a prostitute waiting in the rain, to a submissive girl at a fetish party, to a housewife with a werewolf for a husband. Violence and sex are depicted as inherently intertwined. Because of this, many characters in the book show a connection between desire and violence, how cruelty can have a kind of sex appeal. This is explored in the collection with depictions of sadomasochism and BDSM, where power dynamics can be at certain times problematic, and at others, beautiful. In writing these poems, I was inspired by the fact that upon seeing a harmless bug, so many people's first instinct is to crush it, for no reason at all except because they can. Bug imagery appears throughout the collection, illustrating the dehumanizing aspect of cruelty. The capture of a butterfly serves as a metaphor for sexual assault, and elsewhere bee wings show a desire for escape. Imagery as a whole is important to the collection because it illustrates not only the physical scars that result from violent actions, but also the strength and loveliness within the survivors. In Insect Girls, I didn't want to hide away ugliness, but I didn't want to hide away beauty either.