Publication Date

2016-05-08

Degree Type

Creative Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts

Department

English

Date of Closing Conversation

2015-07-10

First Committee Member

Jaswinder Bolina

Second Committee Member

M. Evelina Galang

Third Committee Member

Raymond McDaniel

Abstract

The following creative thesis is an interrogation of the lives of America’s working poor during the first two decades of the 21st century. Looking to bridge the gap in understanding between sensationalized media representations of poverty and the reality of individual narrative, these poems inhabit a range of disparate personas. Hinging on the vitality of local language and texture, this collection moves between the miniature dramas of coal miners and expectant mothers, factory workers and weathermen, and a cast of teenagers drifting from parking lot to parking lot across the abandoned pastiche of Americana. This is a thesis strained against itself, crisscrossed with the buzzing telephone wires of families determined to survive every new misfortune on their own, never looking elsewhere for commensuration or a stranger’s helping hand.

Keywords

Appalachia; poverty; environmentalism; poetry; mining; coal

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