Publication Date

2019-03-05

Degree Type

Creative Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts

Department

English

Date of Closing Conversation

2018-04-27

First Committee Member

Jaswinder Bolina

Second Committee Member

Maureen Seaton

Third Committee Member

Gema Pérez-Sánchez

Abstract

This collection of poems engages the surrealism and magical realism of Latin and Caribbean culture, family ties, the inability to properly communicate, as well as growing older and exploring relationships in a rapid, technological atmosphere where information is digested in small, elusive pieces. The collection aims to paint a portrait of a life in both realistic and surrealistic terms through the lens of our modern age and by piecing together a personality via its past and the subconscious. The writing of Gabriel García Marquez and Isabel Allende constantly inspires my work, as does that of Eduardo Corral, Natalie Diaz, and David Berman. Pop culture, the media, and cinema (film noir, la Movida Española) greatly inspire me as well. A main idea in this series is that in Latin American culture, everything is sacred, which makes everything magical but real. The host at Church is devoured while the congregation thinks of it as Jesus's flesh; holy candles, statues, tokens, and coins are saved as precious, sacred objects; houses are said to be full of spirits and stuffed with every plane ticket, birthday card, and photo in existence because nothing can be thrown away if everything is sacred. In this culture, and subsequently in this collection, everything you touch is alive.

Keywords

surrealism; magical realism; Caribbean; Latino poetry; Puerto Rico

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