Publication Date

Spring 2011

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)


English and Comparative Literature


Samuel Maio


Eds, family, father, ghost, poetry

Subject Areas

Fine Arts; Literature; American Literature


This thesis project, Overlapping Mornings, is a book-length collection of poetry based upon my family. Throughout the collection I examine the lives of various family members, particularly my father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. In exploring the lives of my progenitors through poetry's lens, I strive to discover my own role as a direct member of this male lineage.

Comprised of four parts, the collection generally follows a chronological order that begins with poems about my childhood and ends with poems of the present. Part Two is a prose section that includes important biographical information about my great-grandfather, Edwin Schivo. This section is told through the perspective of my grandmother and derives from the stories she has told me about her father--my great-grandfather--whom I never had the chance to know.

The primary intent of this prose section is to augment the sequence of ghost poems I have written about the ghost of my great-grandfather, Edwin. Edwin committed suicide at the house where I grew up, and I have used this traumatic event as a crucial component within my collection. I use the name "Eds" to refer to my great-grandfather's ghost. These ghost poems often use unconventional syntax as a way to blur the line between the real world that Eds visits and the ghostly world in which he lingers.

In bringing these poems together, I hope to suggest how the events of our past continually shape our present selves.