Publication Date

2018-05-16

Degree Type

Creative Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts

Department

English

Date of Closing Conversation

2017-04-22

First Committee Member

Jaswinder Bolina

Second Committee Member

Maureen Seaton

Third Committee Member

David Campos

Abstract

The following is a creative thesis set in the new world’s oldest colony and written in the voice of a poet struggling to decolonize himself despite the best efforts of his arch-conservative criollo family. Born rich and white on an island that is poor and predominantly black, the speaker in these poems uses his experience as an American immigrant and his place in the scattered Dominican diaspora to articulate a critical vision of Hispañiola/Haiti’s tragic present. Never fully Dominican, not quite American, and stuck in the neither here nor there that Daisy Baéz once so famously termed the “Nié,” these poems use diaspora to wrestle with the rebel angels of Caribbean and Atlantic history. They also try to strike at the root of the senseless nationalistic hatred that exists between Haiti and the D.R. As far flung as diaspora itself, they speak from New York, Boston, Miami, Beijing, Buenos Aires, Santo Domingo, Port au Prince, and La Frontera to say that at the center of everything that’s broken in the New World is an island, and that island is a Spirit Republic.

Keywords

Dominican Republic; Diasporic Poetry; Latino Poetry; Dominican Immigration; Latino Literature; Contemporary Hispanic Poetry; Contemporary Immigrant Poetry; Immigrant Poetry; Poetry

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