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The Space Between Us

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Abstract The Space Between Us is a poetic project about the grieving process. Formally, the piece is seven sections of prose couched within a crown of seven sonnets. The first-person sections of prose allow for personal discussion in the confessional

Abstract The Space Between Us is a poetic project about the grieving process. Formally, the piece is seven sections of prose couched within a crown of seven sonnets. The first-person sections of prose allow for personal discussion in the confessional tradition of my own lived experience of grief, while the sonnets are a fictional conversation between David Bowie and Stephen Hawking in 1973. The claim of this piece is that death creates space. When a loved one passes away, what we inherit is a gap. What is the role of this gap in the world? How do we interact with it, see it, interpret it, or touch it? Can we put our hands on its form? Can we put it into words? And if the exploration of this space does lead us to words, should they be shared? The round form of the sonnet crown echoes the cyclical motion of questioning, and its allegorical themes: grieving as a black hole, the boundaries of language, the subjectivity of conversation, the limits of space, the dehumanization of obsession, the space between you and who you are perceived to be, and the clash between artistic desires and scientific discoveries.

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2015-05

Erosion: A Collection of Poems

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Erosion: A Collection of Poems consists of ten prose poems that explore the processing of trauma through a single lens. We follow the work’s main character as she navigates recovery following a medical trauma in Peru from which she ought

Erosion: A Collection of Poems consists of ten prose poems that explore the processing of trauma through a single lens. We follow the work’s main character as she navigates recovery following a medical trauma in Peru from which she ought to have died. The pieces challenge the readers to immerse themselves within her narrative to understand the isolation that trauma ushers in, as she struggles to know her own newfound aloneness.

While the poems illustrate the complexity of one’s experience with both PTSD and its stages of recovery (e.g., emergency, numbness, intrusive/repetitive, integration), they are anchored in the sensory, the concrete. Amidst the terror of the symptoms at the most basic, raw level, she attempts to reclaim selfhood, which involves wrestling with philosophical suicide, reconciling realities, numbness and the widening of a barrier, stunning intimacies, the craving to feel, and both the desire and the need to connect authentically without being able to satiate such inclinations.

Influenced by the works of Frank Bidart, Claudia Rankine, James Longenbach, and Carolyn Forché, the pieces rely heavily upon rhythm and spacing, imagery, and associative linkages throughout the work to craft a sense of physical, intellectual, and emotional movement within the space.

The collection focuses upon the narrative of one survivor of trauma, and though traumas may be experienced differently, and while PTSD may manifest itself in profoundly diverse ways, the pieces aim to capture the shared foundation of the experience — the isolation and the pure, unadulterated pain — in order to cast a universal veil onto the exploration, providing the audience with insight into one of trauma’s most important facets.

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Date Created
2016-05

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Claiming Impossible Bodies: A Poetry Collection Exploring Gender and Sexuality through Vampires in Folklore, Literature, and Pop Culture

Description

Claiming Impossible Bodies is a collection of poetry and collage exploring gender and sexuality through the lens of the vampire. For this project, I researched various representations of the vampires through folklore, classical and modern literature, film, and pop culture.

Claiming Impossible Bodies is a collection of poetry and collage exploring gender and sexuality through the lens of the vampire. For this project, I researched various representations of the vampires through folklore, classical and modern literature, film, and pop culture. The liminality of the vampire allows such figures to take different forms and identities, ranging from dark and grotesque creatures, such as the succubus or incubus from mythology, to modern sex-icons, like Edward Cullen from the Twilight Saga. Considering this wide range of performances by vampiric figures throughout history, the poems in this manuscript seek to deconstruct the binaries that vampires live between and expose the liminality in social norms that attempt to define our identities and shape our performances.

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2021-05

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Death, Delight, and Destitution: What Sort of Epicurean was Palladas of Alexandria?

Description

Within the vast array of classical literature, many authors still have not been thoroughly examined. Among these, Palladas of Alexandria, a prominent epigrammatist in the Palatine Anthology, seems to import Epicurean themes. Based on the content and motifs of his

Within the vast array of classical literature, many authors still have not been thoroughly examined. Among these, Palladas of Alexandria, a prominent epigrammatist in the Palatine Anthology, seems to import Epicurean themes. Based on the content and motifs of his poetry, I argue that Palladas leaned on Epicurean philosophy as presented in Lucretius's De Rerum Natura to salvage pagan identity in the midst of Christianity's increased popularity.

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Date Created
2014-05

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Criss-Cross Poetry: Ink and Human Intersections that Layer, Stitch, and Tangle

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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

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.

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Date Created
2016-12

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Insect Girls: Poems

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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

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.

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Date Created
2016-12