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Blackland Prairie

Description: Blackland Prairie contains a scholarly preface, “Cross Timbers,” that discusses the emerging role of place as a narrative agent in contemporary fiction. The preface is followed by six original short stories. “Parts” depicts the growth of a boy's power over his family. “A Movie House to Make Us All Rich” involves the sacrifice of familial values by the son of Italian immigrants in the early 20th century. “The Place on Chenango Street” is about a man who views his world in monetary terms. “The Nine Ideas For A Happier Whole” explores the self-help industry and personal guru age. “All The Stupid Things I Said” is about a long-separated couple meeting for very different reasons. “Flooded Timber” concerns a couple who discover hidden reasons for their relationship's longevity.
Date: May 2002
Creator: Magliocco, Amos
Partner: UNT Libraries

Reflections of Other/Reflections of Self

Description: This Thesis collection contains a critical preface and five stories. The preface, “Reflejos y Reflexiones” (translated: Images and Thoughts), addresses the issues of writing the cultural or gendered Other; these issues include methodology, literary colonialism, a dialogue between works, and creating distance through defamiliarizing the self. “Perennials” is the story of Noemi Tellez, an immigrant to the U.S. who must choose between working and taking care of her family. In “Load Bearing” Luis, the eldest child, faces his family and friends on one of his last days before moving away to college. “La Monarca” deals with Lily's, the youngest daughter, struggle to mediate a place between her friends and her family. In “Reflections in the River,” Arabela, the second youngest, faces the ghost of an unwanted pregnancy and La Llorona. “La Cocina de Su Madre” is the story of Magda, the oldest daughter, and her own teenage girl, Natalia, as they attempt to find themselves in a new town after moving a thousand miles from home.
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Date: August 2002
Creator: Bebout, Lee
Partner: UNT Libraries

The things I left behind

Description: This thesis consists of a preface and twenty-one original short stories. The preface examines the differences between creative nonfiction, autobiography, and memoir. The twenty-one interrelated stories included are autobiographical in nature, in some ways memoirs and in some ways creative nonfiction. The over-all theme of the collection explores one character's journey of self-discovery and transformation.
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Date: August 2002
Creator: Keyes, Laura
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Human Body is Not Designed for Ambivalence: Odes

Description: The critical analysis section of this dissertation seeks to define the ode using examples in translation from Greek and Latin odes and examples in English written from the 1500s to the 2000s. Although most definitions of the ode contend that this subgenre of the lyric is an occasional poem of praise that includes a meditative or mythological element, the ode is far more complex. An ode is an occasional poem, but it works to privilege rather than strictly praise its subject, allowing for the speaker's ambivalence toward the subject. Meditation is a key element of the ode, since the poet uses the subject as a means for moving to the meditation or as a conduit through which the meditation occurs. The meditation in the poem is also a way for the poet or speaker to negotiate the relationship between the subject and herself; thus, the ode is concerned with power, since the poet must place herself or the speaker in relation to the subject. Power thus may be granted to either the speaker or the subject; the poet names and speaks of the subject, and often the poet names and speaks of himself in relation to the subject. Additionally, odes usually contain some exhortation, generally directed to the subject if not to those surrounding the reader or capable of "listening in" to the performance of the poem. This definition, it should be noted, is intended to be fluid. In order for a poem to be relevant to its age, it must either adhere to or usefully challenge the contemporary concerns. Thus, while many of the odes discussed will contain the elements of this definition, others will work against the definition. In the remainder of the introduction, I examine ancient models and twentieth- and twenty-first century examples of the ode as ...
Date: December 2007
Creator: Walker, Tammy
Partner: UNT Libraries

Vulgar Moon

Description: The preface to this collection, "Speculation and Silence," argues that confessional poetry remains integral to contemporary poetics, though the implications of the term have changed since its "first-generation." Confessional poetry must not be dependent on simply the transmission of sensational details and the emotional consequences, but on poets' implementation of silence and restraint in both the diffusion of ideas and in the crafting of the piece. Vulgar Moon is a collection of poems in which I explore the implications of events ranging from erotic love and motherhood, to the devastation of New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina, and Jewish history. In addition, these pieces explore the inner workings of the human psyche, both tender and malignant, and the inherent human need for absolution.
Date: December 2007
Creator: Miller, Kelley Reno
Partner: UNT Libraries

Iconoclast in the mirror.

Description: This work explores identity positions of speakers in modern and contemporary poetry with respect to themes of subjectivity, self-awareness, lyricism, heteroglossia, and social contextualization, from perspectives including Bakhtinian, queer, feminist and postructuralist theories, and Peircian semiotics. Tony Hoagland, W.H. Auden, Adrienne Rich, and the poetic prose of Hélène Cixous provide textual examples of an evolving aesthetic in which the poet's self and world comprise multiple dynamic, open relationships supplanting one in which simple correspondences between signifiers and signifieds define selves isolated from the world. Hypertext and polyamory serve as useful analogies to the semantic eros characteristic of such poetry, including the collection of original poems that the critical portion of this thesis introduces.
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Date: August 2005
Creator: Alexander, Lydia L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Opening Day

Description: Although I've read and written poetry for my own pleasure for about twenty years now, I've only seriously studied and written poetry on a consistent basis for the past two years. In this sense, I still consider myself a beginning poet. When attempting to pursue an art form as refined and historically informed as poetry, only after spending a number of years reading and writing intensively would I no longer consider myself a beginner, but a practitioner of the art. I've grounded my early development as a poet in concision, voice, and imagination, and hope to build upon these ideas with other poetic techniques, theories, and forms as I go forward. I am particularly interested in mastering the sonnet form, a concise and imaginative form that will allow me to further develop my skills. Hopefully, the works in this thesis reflect that effort.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Van Hooser, David
Partner: UNT Libraries

Dawn in the Empty House

Description: The preface to this collection of poems, "Memory and The Myth of Lost Truth," explores the physical and metaphysical roles memory plays within poetry. It examines the melancholy frequently birthed from a particular kind poetic self-inquiry, or, more specifically, the feelings associated with recognizing the self's inability to re-inhabit the emotional experience of past events, and how poetry can redeem, via engaging our symbolic intuition, the faultiness of remembered history. Dawn in the Empty House is a collection of poems about the implications of human relationships, self-deception, and memory as a tool for self-discovery.
Date: December 2008
Creator: Campbell, John
Partner: UNT Libraries

"Notes for the Manual Assembly"

Description: A collection of poems that seeks the balance between imagination and reality that Wallace Stevens calls for in art, with a preface exploring Elaine Scarry's On Beauty and Being Just through the work of two contemporary poets.
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Date: May 2018
Creator: Murray, Jessica
Partner: UNT Libraries

"The Divine Coming of the Light"

Description: The Divine Coming of the Light is a memoir-in-essays that covers an experience, from 2007 to 2010, when I lived in Kosuge Village (population 900), nestled in the mountains of central Japan. I was the only foreigner there. My memoir uses these three years as a frame to investigate how landscape affects identity. The book profiles who I was before Japan (an evangelical and then wilderness guide), why I became obsessed with mountains, and the fall-out from mountain obsession to a humanistic outlook. The path my narrator takes is one of a mountain hike. I was born in tabletop-flat West Texas to conservative, Christian parents in the second most Republican county by votes in America. At 19, I made my first backpacking trip to the San Juan Mountains of western Colorado and was awed by their outer-planetary-like massiveness. However, two friends and I became lost in the wilderness for three days without cell phones. During this time, an obsession possessed me as we found our way back through the peaks to safety, a realization that I could die out there, yes, but amid previously unknown splendor. I developed an addiction to mountains that weakened my religious faith. Like the Romantic poets before me, God transferred from the sky to the immense landscape. I jettisoned my beliefs and became an outdoor wilderness instructor. On every peak I traveled up, I hoped to recreate that first conversion experience when I was lost in the woods. After college, while teaching English in Kosuge Village, I learned about the mountain-worshipping religion Shugendo: a mixture of Buddhism, Shintoism, and Shamanism. I climbed dozens of peaks, spending several days backpacking. However, while in Japan, I was nearly fatally injured on a solo, month-long hike. I saw the accident as a warning and turned my attention to ...
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Date: May 2018
Creator: Peters, Clinton Crockett
Partner: UNT Libraries

Fathom's Edge

Description: Investigating elements of the creative process in the work of three poets: James Wright, Gjertrud Schnackenberg, and Pegeen Kelly. Each poet deploys a different method for access to those experiences that lie at the edge of accessible language. Each method is discussed and its deployment illustrated. Wright leads us from the sensory world to the supersensual. Schnackenberg makes use of the formal device of the fairy tale. Kelly immerses in the logic of dreams. Drawing on Elaine Scarry's theory of the imagination, the case is made that the poetic act is a dialectic between the poet and the sensory world, in which perception and imagination are equally important.
Date: May 2010
Creator: Sweeney, Mark
Partner: UNT Libraries

Letters from Jack and Other Cadavers

Description: My dissertation, Letters from Jack and Other Cadavers, developed out of my interest in using persona, narrative forms, and historical details collected through thorough research to transform personal experience and emotions in my poems. The central series of poems, "Letters from Jack," is written in the voice of Jack the Ripper and set up as a series of poems-as-letters to the police who chased him. The Ripper's sense of self and his motivations are troubled by his search for a muse as the poems become love poems, contrasting the brutality of the historical murders and the atmosphere of late 19th century London with a charismatic speaker not unlike those of Browning's Dramatic Monologues. The dissertation's preface further explores my desire for a level of personal removal while crafting poems in order to temper sentimentality. Drawing on Wallace Stevens's notion that "Sentimentality is failed emotion" and Tony Hoagland's assessment that fear of sentimentality can turn young poets away from narrative forms, I examine my own poems along with those of Scott Cairns, Tim Seibles, and Albert Goldbarth to derive conclusions on the benefits distance, persona, narrative, and detail to downplay excessive emotion and the intrusion of the personal. Poems from the manuscript have appeared in The Beloit Poetry Journal, Sybil's Garage, The North Texas Review, and The Sheridan Edwards Review.
Date: May 2010
Creator: Leis, Aaron
Partner: UNT Libraries

Love Poem with Exiles

Description: Love Poem with Exiles is a collection of poems with a critical preface. The poems are varied in terms of subject matter and form. In the critical preface, I discuss my relationship with poetry as well as the idea that we inherit poems, and that if we are inspired by them, we can transform them into something new.
Date: May 2010
Creator: Quintanilla, Octavio
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Chorus of Trees

Description: This two-part thesis includes a critical preface and a collection of my poems. Using three poems-Louise Glück's "Lullaby," Bob Hicok's "Poem for My Mother's Hysterectomy," and Nick Flynn's "Memento Mori"-the critical preface examines how, in poetry, the transformation of a body negotiates trauma and triggers a conceptual shift, the creation and revision of identity, and the release of the duende's inspirational force. The collection of poetry that follows seeks to transfigure the body as a way to explore the nuanced traumas of human experience.
Date: August 2010
Creator: Lyons, Renée Kathleen
Partner: UNT Libraries

Joy Harjo's Poetics of Transformation

Description: For Muscogee Creek poet Joy Harjo, poetry is a real world force that can empower the reader by utilizing mythic memory, recovery of history, and a spiral journey to regain communal identity. Her poetic career transforms from early lyric poems to a hybridized form of prosody, prose, and myth to accommodate and to reflect Harjo's concerns as they progress from personal, to tribal, and then to global. She often employs a witnessing strategy to combat the trauma caused by racism in order to create the possibility for renewal and healing. Furthermore, Harjo's poetry combats forces that seek to define Native American existence negatively. To date, Harjo's poetic works create a myth that will refocus humanity's attention on the way in which historical meaning is produced and the way difference is encountered. In an effort to revise the dominant stories told about Indians, Harjo privileges the idea that Native Americans are present and human, and it is this sense of humanity that pervades her poetry. Sequentially, Joy Harjo's volumes of poetry-She Had Some Horses (1983), In Mad Love and War (1990), and The Woman Who Fell from the Sky (1994)-create a regenerative cycle that combats the effects of oppressive history and racism. Through her poetry, violent and tragic events are transformed into moments of hope and renewal. Her collections are powerful testimonies of endurance and survival. They directly defy the stereotype of the "vanishing" or "stoic" Indian, but more importantly, they offer regeneration and grace to all peoples. The poems create a map to help navigate the multiple simultaneous realms of existence, to find a way to travel through the barriers that separate existence. In this dissertation, I employ various reading strategies to support my contentions. Blending a postcolonial standpoint with feminism, I believe Harjo uses a feminist ethnic bildungsroman to ...
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Date: December 2003
Creator: Rose-Vails, Shannon
Partner: UNT Libraries

Jinxed

Description: My dissertation, Jinxed, developed out of my interest in the movement between the comic and the tragic by tracing the evolution of a romantic relationship. While employing biblical, classical, literary, and pop-cultural traditions, my manuscript has its most clear affinities with Renaissance poetry that navigates between the erotic and the spiritual. The sequence of poems recreates the character of Petrarch's Laura in the Little Redhead Girl, Charlie Brown's first love. My Laura, however, is a feisty secular Irish woman who simultaneously frustrates and attracts a religious narrator. To explore the multifaceted nature of their love, I employ a variety of poetic techniques, such as the repetition inherent in the villanelle to express the powerlessness of the narrator as he begins to fall in love. In "To a Young Philosopher," a sestina, one of the repeated words ("ephemeral") triggers a philosophical discussion that is a proposal of marriage. The manuscript also uses other forms such as the sonnet, Spenserian stanza, terza rima, couplets, and blank verse. Narratively, it ends with Charlie Brown after he has missed kicking Lucy's football, falling to earth literally and symbolically. Poems in the manuscript have appeared in journals such as The Wallace Stevens Journal, Talking River Review, and Passages North.
Date: August 2003
Creator: Davis, Richard
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Country With No Name

Description: A Country With No Name is a collection of thirty-four poems with a preface explaining the style and influences of the author. The preface defends plain-language techniques in poetry, using W.H. Auden, Wislawa Szymborska, and Paul Simon as examples of poets who take a similar approach. The poems range in topic from personal and familial to societal and abstract. The main subjects encompass interpersonal relationships, romantic and otherwise, and larger concerns, such as the effects of war and modern lifestyles.
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Date: May 2004
Creator: Hunziker, April
Partner: UNT Libraries

Neckbones and Sauerfowches: From Fractured Childhood in the Ghetto to Constantly Changing Womanhood in the World

Description: A collection of five memoiristic essays arranged about themes of family, womanhood and the African-American community with a preface. Among the experiences the memoirs recount are childhood abandonment; verbal and emotional child abuse; mental illness; poverty; and social and personal change. Essays explore the lasting impact of abandonment by a father on a girl as she grows into a woman; the devastation of family turmoil and untreated mental illness; generational identity in the African-American community. One essay describes the transition from the identity-forming profession of journalism to academia. The last essay is about complicated and conflicting emotions toward patriotism and flag-waving on the part of a black woman who has lived through riots, little known police shootings of students on black campuses, and many other incidents that have divided Americans.
Date: May 2002
Creator: Smith, Starita
Partner: UNT Libraries