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Date Permissions Signed
Date of Award
Masters Thesis (Campus-Only Access)
Department or Program Affiliation
English, Master of Fine Arts
Master of Fine Arts (MFA)
Soft Bellies / Hold the Babies is a collection of poems that explores themes of aging, chronic illness, climate grief, ways of knowing, the “mother line,” and ancestral memory. The work holds grief, rage, longing, apology, praise, and delight at different turns as it attempts to reckon with dislocation and brokenness as symptoms of late-stage capitalism, hetero-patriarchy, and settler-colonialism. Odes, letters to dead ancestors, and dream fragments are woven with reflections on process and poems that interrogate notions of health, intelligence, belonging, and ownership. The work is formally textured and woven, using collage, fragments, photographs, and the epistolary mode to invoke re-generation and entanglement. This work is indebted to an enmeshed web of poet influences, including but not limited to H.D., Adrienne Rich, Lucille Clifton, Denise Levertov, Victoria Chang, Dianne Seuss, Eleni Sikelianos, Lucia Perillo, Layli Longsoldier, Claudia Rankine, Jane Wong, Lynn Hejinian, Ely Shipley, and Stefania Heim.
Poetry, eco-poetics, hybrid, post-memory, epistolary, ancestors, chronic illness
Western Washington University
Subject – LCSH
American poetry--21st century
Academic theses; Epistolary poetry
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Byrd, Kathleen L., "Soft Bellies / Hold the Babies" (2022). WWU Graduate School Collection. 1083.
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