Date of Award
Master of Fine Arts (MFA)
Ruth Ellen Kocher
Stephen Graham Jones
Westernmost Bodies is a collection of poems orbiting themes of violence, memory, and desire playing out on a supremely haunted frontier. The various sections are structured by the narrative of death--the opening image of "two alpacas" represents the mirror image of femininity developed in the manuscript. One image of the women explored through the confines of the domestic home space and the other image interacting with wildness in a natural environment. Together, these images are in conversation through traditional lyric and methods of fragmentation. The fragments mimic the humming described in the first poem--an emotional resonance of a continuous narrative that traces itself through the manuscript. The meeting of the natural world and the domestic space in the poems meet at the frontier of violence, subtle rage, and a space of unease. The mood is meant to be unstable--a constant uneasiness--culminating in the end in a fruition of terror and breakdown.
Koenig, Monica Helen, "Westernmost Bodies" (2014). English Graduate Theses & Dissertations. 52.