This thesis is first and foremost a poetry project. However, central to its craft are ideas of cross-genre poetics. Thematically interconnected essays of both lyric and experimental styles are used as section breaks, which provides more clarity while simultaneously heightening complexity as the manuscript progresses. The sequencing of the essays and poems have a personal chronological trajectory, beginning with more concrete imagery and standard grammar usage then progressing towards a more abstract landscape where repeated images are transformed through experimental grammar usage and varied contexts. Image matching on either side of the manuscript acts as connective tissue holding the two "halves" together, whereas the language and presentation in the first half allow the reader an anchor to move forward into a more strange and untethered space towards the end. The language found in the essays has range influenced by the voice of the speakers. These voices include the child voice, the instructional scientific, to arguably fictional because of an unreliable narrator. These same voices can be found within the poems. Through adherence to intuitive sound and rhythm, including line and section breaks, anaphora, internal rhyme, and fragmentation, the essays maintain a poetic quality. These two elements of craft place the essays in direct conversation with the poems that surround them. Thematically, the project deals with racial tensions, motherhood, and romantic relationships through a discovery of the personal skin--its birth, its color, and its ability to perceive and be perceived.
Thesis (M.F.A.) University of Alaska Fairbanks, 2018
Table of Contents
I. The red robin -- You could have named me -- My mother's belly -- Growing tomatoes -- Protect them -- Mine. II. Invisible Boundaries -- Buttermilk -- Bury it -- Cotton -- Bury it -- Corn -- Bury it -- Lunch. III. Black diamond -- Ampersand -- Whiteness -- What goes best with red -- Burning black -- Nightlight -- Locusts. IV. Hunting and eating interior mushrooms -- Berry picking, mid-September -- Edibility -- The Bible -- Church going -- Skin-tongue -- Bouquet -- Spring. V. The pink worm -- Losing -- On breaking -- Night -- Jordan -- Let him sing -- Notes -- Acknowledgements.
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