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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

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Representations of women in the poetry of Thomas Kinsella

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This dissertation addresses the representation of women in the poetry of the Irish poet Thomas Kinsella. Using a variety of theoretical approaches, including historical criticism, French feminist theory and Jungian psychoanalytical theory, I argue that although women are an integral

This dissertation addresses the representation of women in the poetry of the Irish poet Thomas Kinsella. Using a variety of theoretical approaches, including historical criticism, French feminist theory and Jungian psychoanalytical theory, I argue that although women are an integral part of Kinsella's ongoing aesthetic project of self-interrogation, their role in his poetry is deeply problematic from a feminist perspective. For purposes of my discussion I have divided my analysis into three categories of female representation: the realistically based figure of the poet's wife Eleanor, often referred to as the Beloved; female archetypes and anima as formulated by the psychologist C.G. Jung; and the poetic trope of the feminized Muse. My contention is that while the underlying effect of the early love and marriage poems is to constrain the female subject by reinforcing stereotypical gender positions, Kinsella's aesthetic representation of this relationship undergoes a transformation as his poetry matures. With regard to Kinsella's mid-career work from the 1970s and the 1980s I argue that the poet's aesthetic integration of Jungian archetypes into his poetry of psychic exploration fundamentally influences his representation of women, whether real or archetypal. These works represent a substantial advance in the complexity of Kinsella's poetry; however, the imaginative power of these poems is ultimately undermined by the very ideas that inspire them - Jungian archetypal thought - since women are represented exclusively as facilitators and symbols on this male-centered journey of self-discovery. Further complicating the gender dynamics in Kinsella's poetry is the presence of the female Muse. This figure, which becomes of increasing importance to the poet, transforms from an aestheticized image of the Beloved, to a sinister snake-like apparition, and finally into a disembodied voice that is a projection of the poet and his alter-ego. Ultimately, Kinsella's Muse is an aesthetic construction, the site of inquiry into the difficulties inherent in the creative process, and a metaphor for the creative process itself. Through his innovative deployment of the trope of the Muse, Kinsella continues to advance the aesthetics of contemporary Irish poetry.

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2013

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Fledglings of Anani

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The Fledglings of Anani is a universe with an underlying organizing principle of desire, auspiciousness and serendipity, the veiled doors and windows of these realms serve as fugues bridging layers of time leading us through myth and landscape intimately tied

The Fledglings of Anani is a universe with an underlying organizing principle of desire, auspiciousness and serendipity, the veiled doors and windows of these realms serve as fugues bridging layers of time leading us through myth and landscape intimately tied to the physical intelligence of earth and character of place. It is a voice that comes to know itself first as being, then in correspondence to nature and her elements, enters into the rhythm of human connection and ultimately circles back to comprehend itself as all these things, varying only in degree. The poems travel further and further toward an allusive center with a contemplative inner eye that embraces the complexity and vitality of life.

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2012

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Atom City

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A collection of poems that explore what it means to be from the Atomic City-- a city built atop cleared-out rural communities in East Tennessee during World War II, and with the sole and secretive purpose of enriching uranium for

A collection of poems that explore what it means to be from the Atomic City-- a city built atop cleared-out rural communities in East Tennessee during World War II, and with the sole and secretive purpose of enriching uranium for the atomic bomb. The poems look back to the more isolated Appalachian culture of previous generations, discovering the identity rifts caused by such massive and rushed development. In trying to understand the poet's own cultural inheritance of both nuclear weaponry and an Appalachian hardness, the poems begin to meditate on inhabitation. They ask what it means to live in a country, a local community, a body. The poems travel far beyond the Atomic City's limits, incorporating characters that live, in some sense, at the edge of a community. As he crosses the Atlantic, the Spanish poet Jiménez wonders if either sound or vision are more trustworthy tools for perception; an aging grandmother in Tennessee realizes that she still "drives" her younger body in her dreams; an American woman becomes aroused after touring the killing fields in Cambodia; and the prophet of Oak Ridge, who supposedly predicted the Manhattan Project, considers how his baby daughter has become a thing after death. The various voices show the poet grappling with her own guilt over Hiroshima, and ultimately attempt to understand the limits of both grief and love, how one inherits a tragedy.

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2013

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The body snatcher's complaint

Description

Ranging in subject from a Tuareg festival outside Timbuktu to the 1975 "Battle of the Sexes" race at Belmont track to a Mississippi classroom in the Delta flood plains, the poems in The Body Snatcher's Complaint explore the blurring of

Ranging in subject from a Tuareg festival outside Timbuktu to the 1975 "Battle of the Sexes" race at Belmont track to a Mississippi classroom in the Delta flood plains, the poems in The Body Snatcher's Complaint explore the blurring of self hood, a feeling of foreignness within one's own physical experience of the world, in the most intimate and global contexts.

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2013

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Children's Literature in Russia and America: A Study in Translation

Description

Children's literature is a comparatively new concept that has changed as the view of children and childhood has changed. The idea that books written for children are more than just amusement and that these books instill values and pride in

Children's literature is a comparatively new concept that has changed as the view of children and childhood has changed. The idea that books written for children are more than just amusement and that these books instill values and pride in one's culture has been approached very differently in the United States and Russia. While there are universal morals and common themes in children's literature, there are just as many culturally-dependent ideals that make children's literature and its translation an enlightening way to study the culture of a people or nation and ease the tensions between emerging global and traditional national lessons in children's literature.

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2012-12

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Diagnosis: An Analysis of Human Behavior through Poetry

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Diagnosis is an analysis of human behavior, examined through several types of poetry. The project delves into how individuals act and re-act when put into stress-inducing situations, whether due to that situation, personality, traits, an interaction with another person, or mental illness.

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2013-05

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A brief theory of entanglement

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A Brief Theory of Entanglement examines the philosophical consequences that quantum mechanics has on our lives, our bodies, and our relationships. By framing themselves within the context of "daughter universes”—the theory that each choice on our plane of consciousness spawns

A Brief Theory of Entanglement examines the philosophical consequences that quantum mechanics has on our lives, our bodies, and our relationships. By framing themselves within the context of "daughter universes”—the theory that each choice on our plane of consciousness spawns an alternative universe in which the opposite choice was made—these poems consider pain and the power we choose to give it while imagining a multitude of worlds in which everything—even grief—occurs very differently.

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2016

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Souvenirs of sleep

Description

Chris Miller's Souvenirs of Sleep is as serious as it is whimsical, if this is a possibility. The "Museum of the Zoo-real" may be an equally appropriate title as animals are often in performance. In this visual and spiritual investigation,

Chris Miller's Souvenirs of Sleep is as serious as it is whimsical, if this is a possibility. The "Museum of the Zoo-real" may be an equally appropriate title as animals are often in performance. In this visual and spiritual investigation, childhood, dream, and the loss of a mother to suicide are the currents. Miller's work is informed by the cinema of Werner Herzog, Andrei Tarkovsky, Robert Bresson and beyond. Miller believes in the power of implication. The poems begin with intense focus, but are often in the business of expansion. Souvenirs of Sleep is a journey toward sense-making, a search for language that might allow it.

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2013

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I am the woman with the black black skin: mapping intersectionality in Harlem Renaissance women's poetry

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Mapping Intersectionality in Harlem Renaissance Women's Poetry comprises the first book-length study devoted to examining the role women's poetry played in the Harlem Renaissance, an artistic and sociopolitical movement that reached its zenith in the 1920s. This study is situated

Mapping Intersectionality in Harlem Renaissance Women's Poetry comprises the first book-length study devoted to examining the role women's poetry played in the Harlem Renaissance, an artistic and sociopolitical movement that reached its zenith in the 1920s. This study is situated in a theoretical interdisciplinarity that complicates critical approaches to Black women's subjectivities with respect to resistance and representation. It combines literary, race and gender theory to perform close readings of New Negro Women's poetry. Central chapters of the text theorize the poets' overshadowed engagement with the political movement via the tropes of interiority, motherhood, and sexuality; a closing chapter puts New Negro women's poetry in conversation with the Black Arts Movement. Building on the feminist sociological framework of Intersectionality, which considers the lived experience of individuals who embody multiple layers of marginalization, this dissertation works to identify and unpack sources of racialized gendered disparity in Harlem Renaissance studies. In acknowledging that self–actualization and self–articulation are central to this identity–based movement — a presupposition that informs this study's thesis — it becomes necessary to consider the gendered aspects of the writing for a more comprehensive review of the period. The analytical framework of Intersectionality provides a means to acknowledge New Negro women poets' perspectives regarding their racialized and gendered selves. In essence, Mapping Intersectionality is a concentrated effort toward unearthing evidence of their significant push against race and gender oppression. The motivation driving this study is revision and reclamation: revisionist in its concern for redefining the parameters in which the movement is traditionally perceived; a reclamation in its objective to underscore the influential, but nearly forgotten voices of the women poets of the Harlem Renaissance.

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2013