Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Nancy Eimers

Second Advisor

Dr. Elizabeth Bradburn

Third Advisor

Dr. Daneen Wardrop

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Jeffrey Angles


Poetry, science, cosmic, atomic, verse, literature


The poems in Light-Echo use concepts and images from different scientific fields: astronomy, particle physics, and thermodynamics. They explore how our bodies are stuck in the terrestrial realm while our thoughts, imagination, and emotions have the ability to enter cosmic and atomic size scales. Rooting themselves in images, topics, and theories found in science, the poems explore a range of issues from the monotony and tribulations of domestic life—family relationships and fertility—to the power of social media in our culture and politics.

The collection is in three sections. The first and last section respond to a lecture from 1959 by C.P. Snow, an English novelist and physical chemist, where he addresses his concerns over the separation of, what he called, the two cultures: one culture being science and the other the humanities. He believes their split is “a major hinderance to solving the world’s problems.” While this collection will hardly reach such a degree of resolution for the world, it weaves the two together by exploring how scientific language can articulate the deep emotional richness available to the human heart.

The #’s section of the collection is a creation myth; it takes place in a world where there is no scientific knowledge; it is the antimatter of the other sections. It explores the creation of thought and language, and is in part, structured using Ludwig Wittgenstein’s picture theory of language: that the meaning of a statement can only be derived from pictures in the real world. There are also multiple religious and spiritual interpretations in the rise of human culture and the creation of life and the world. The poems propose how religion and art develop in a society

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