This Glass Sun and Other Cities

Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Nancy Eimers


Stanza, in the Italian from which it is derived, also means room, and the poems in This Glass Sun and Other Cities remember that origin; behind them is a nagging question: Where should we live? The manuscript hinges on address in its multiple meanings, noun and verb. On the one hand, it considers address as the position of the speaker, both as location—as home and as the foreign city, as position in time, the precarious moment in history—and as a manner of speaking. On the other hand, address in this manuscript enacts, and through such enactment the poems animate, their shapes and energies form. The direction of the voice toward another—be it the narrow gate of the unnamed "you" or the facade of former President George W. Bush—serves, at times, to open up an entire world and, at others, to order its seeming chaos back down to the human scale. So too, on a formal level, the manuscript expands and contracts; it moves between lyric and narrative impulses, between sprawl and control. In the course of its meditations on history, landscape, art, and memory the collection derives its tension from what philosopher Gaston Bachelard calls the "drama of intimate geometry," the constant exchange of the "outside" and the "inside," the public and the private, the present and the past, the world and the mind, hoping to find in the intersection —in the poem itself—a livable architecture.

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