Title

Drywall

Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2014

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Department

English

First Advisor

Julie A. Carr

Second Advisor

Adam Bradley

Third Advisor

Marcia Douglas

Abstract

My intention in writing this collection was to explore where Lyric and narrative come together to tell a story that is neither linear nor abstract, but woven in such a way as to be an immersion. The Lyric gave me room for experimentation in language and eased the difficulties inherent in showing the obsession of the narrator. The narrative arcs in prose allowed for scenes and story to develop, even when on a minute scale.

During the writing process, it became very apparent that at the heart of these stories was a fascination somewhere between fixation and voyeurism. Seeing the unseen, or even imagining the unseen to such a point that it becomes, somehow, seen.

To portray a quiet, an intimacy, I utilized parentheses, not as moments of deemphasis, but as an expression of the aside, the effortless feeling of an aside. Saying something over your shoulder, off the page, out of the way. The real notion is of quietness.

My research focused on poetry such as Ondaatje’s The Collected Works of Billy the Kid and Anne Carson’s The Beauty of the Husband, works that deal with ‘outsiders’ or characters that live on the edge of an edginess; collections that deal with relationships and the influences we have on each other, especially when it is secret, unnoticed or even accidental.

Poetry is the perfect way to encapsulate the small moments of experience, and it becomes even more complex and interesting when driven by story. In this young collection, I attempted to marry prose and poetry in such a way as to blur the boundaries between reality and imagination for three characters, who come together in a folding and unfolding of influence and impact.

Never knowing what tiny intimacy reveals to an observer, we inflict entire experiences on other people without ever realizing it. Overwhelming a neighbor with the smells of your cooking, or scowling at a stranger while puzzling over a memory: these are the things that became the driving force behind my writing, and will continue to do so as I further this collection.

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