Title

Ridge-Runner

Date of Award

8-1-2006

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

English

First Advisor

Dr. William Olsen

Second Advisor

Dr. Nancy Eimers

Third Advisor

Dr. Daneen Wardrop

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Jeffrey Angles

Abstract

At the top of every ridge is a limnal space, where one's feet can literally be on two different sides o f the same mountain. Ridge-runner is a term used disparagingly in Appalachian culture in reference to a person who attempts to bridge a gap between the world inside and outside of Appalachia. As a reference to identity, the term is a metaphor for a single person belonging fully to neither one side nor the other. Although the term itself is almost always intended an insult, it is still somehow beautiful in the vantage point it suggests; a distance without distance, a tension of place and body, and a vast skyline in every direction. The poems in this collection try to find stable footing~or better, a ridge road running back and forth—between the two spaces.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Campus Only

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