Slow Shutter

Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Christopher Nagle, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Elizabeth Bradburn, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Melanie Crow, Ph.D.




In photography, using a slow shutter allows more light through the lens. In darkness, this is a necessary technique, while in the light it serves to capture motion and create a blurring effect in the resulting image. Slow Shutter is a collection of poetry that considers what is left behind in the wake of different kinds of loss and explores questions of how one's physical body exists in a world that runs on despite the inevitable departures of those most important to us and the knowledge of our own mortality. Rather than attempting to capture these experiences as accurately and clearly as possible, these poems attempt to work within a middle ground, in the blurred uncertainty of shaken foundations. This work is influenced by the shorter, more compact free verse of Heather McHugh and Alan Dugan, and informed by the work of the Metaphysical poets, particularly George Herbert and John Donne.

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