Publication Date

Spring 2009

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)


English and Comparative Literature


Soldofsky, Alan

Subject Areas

Asian literature


The idea of a nation, a political concept spread during the Enlightenment with the invention of printing technology, has long been expressed through various representations. As a concept showing racial commonality and filiation, the notion of nation has been represented in various media, like printing and painting. Long before my country, the Philippines, became a sovereign state, it had been imagined and represented in various ways by early sea explorers, adventurers, writers, artists, cartographers, anthropologists, and its subsequent colonizers.

These representations, consistent with Benedict Anderson's definition of nation as an "imagined community," underlies this creative thesis project. My poems attempt to reimagine, recall, and reconstitute my native country as represented by its colonial abbreviation, P.I. This project proceeds from, and responds to a mixture of visual and textual representations of my country, as well as from the generous wellspring of poetry. My poems negotiate the interstices of the words, imagination and nation. Such negotiation is expressed through poems that remember and reinscribe my own and my country's historical experiences, which are transformed as a verbal imagination of a body polity or community called nation.