In The Prepositional State

Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)



First Advisor

Noah Eli Gordon

Second Advisor

Julie Carr

Third Advisor

John Michael Rivera


In The Prepositional State is a collection of poems representing three years of graduate work in poetry. Influenced by politics, art, community, and Judaism, In The Prepositional State attempts to enact a poetics where poetry is knowing; the process of coming to knowledge through the poem. But final arrival, an anchoring of the known, seems impossible. Maybe the space of the poem can't sustain the determinacy it aims for. I once believed that poetry is an aggregate of knowledge--empirical, inductive, emotional-- contained in the self, but over time my thinking changed. The implied authority of such a poem was eroded in place of the uncertainty and doubt that's been there all along. Self knowing. Empirical knowing. Emotional knowing. Each is a present participle and remains so. Each is the poem's attempt in a given moment to understand itself.

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