Date of Award
Eleni Sikelianos, M.F.A.
This is a collection of tyranno-lyrical poems which force voice onto various absences and absurdities encountered in the project of constructing or deconstructing an American identity. The collection uses as a unifying conceit the personification of the four letters which have been replaced by the apostrophe in the abbreviation “NAT’L.” Iona appears as a speaking character in many of the poems, pulling an “I” character into conversation with her. Iona and I’s conversations rely on and mangle the poetic language commonly used to identify the nation and what does or doesn’t belong to it—especially the language of folk songs and political speeches. They create and try to escape an alternative American landscape, where seemingly contiguous states slip over, under, and out of scale with each other, like failed attempts to colonize tectonic plates. A critical introduction to the poems analyzes the contemporary American relationship between lyrical and political speech by developing a poetics of apostrophe and conspiracy through the words and work of Martin Luther King, Jr., Joshua Oppenheimer, Alice Notley, and Laurie Anderson.
Lennon, Joe, "Dinosaur Nat'l" (2015). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 362.
Received from ProQuest