Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2009

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Department

English

First Advisor

Julie Carr

Second Advisor

John-Michael Rivera

Third Advisor

Noah Eli Gordon

Abstract

This thesis is a memoir of poetry and prose that attempts to navigate through the personal, emotional and spiritual discourses of an esoteric family, using inherited language to connect a poetic presence with a disjunctive and illusive history. The sugar beet is the metaphorical and literal model at the heart of the project. Various themes include, relationships, sexuality, contraception, divorce, trauma, mortality, and the nature of "self". It is a series of stories about loneliness and coming of age in a violent world, interspersed by poems which transition the reader through a narrative of childhood and parenting, looking through the lens of ancestral lineage. The family becomes characters in the imaginative drama of self, as the narrator attempts to understand the strange and wonderful spiritual knowledge and gestures. The poetry and prose push toward a transformative understanding about violence in a personal and social context.

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