Title

Investigations into the Unconfirmed Miracles at Puraquequara

Date of Award

4-2014

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

English

First Advisor

Dr. William Olsen

Second Advisor

Dr. Nancy Eimers

Third Advisor

Idra Novey

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Daneen Wardrop

Abstract

My dissertation, Investigation Into the Unconfirmed Miracles at Puraquequara, is a verse novel that explores a series of mysterious occurrences in an Amazon river town. A biomythography of my mother’s childhood in Brazil, the project combines local folklore, history, and ecology. Influenced by Fernando Pessoa’s use of heteronyms in his writing, the verse novel uses five different personas in an attempt to achieve a similar type of depersonalization that Pessoa experienced between author and text. These polyphonic poems give voice to a town struggling to deal with a coup d’etat, class inequality, environmental issues, and racial tension in the wake of mysterious events they believe to be miracles. Informed by the other national epics of South America, such as Eduardo Galeano’s Memory of Fire trilogy and João Ubaldo Ribeiro’s An Invincible Memory, my new work brings the hybrid and documentary poetics of South America into a bilingual intercontinental epic.

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