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Publication Date

Fall 2012

Degree Type

Thesis - Campus Access Only

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)


English and Comparative Literature


Persis Karim



Subject Areas

Literature; American literature


This project is a book-length collection of poems, organized in three sections. The first section deals with seemingly younger voices and subjects such as childhood, formative familial relationships, and coming-of-age experiences. The middle section deals with poems of place largely set in Silicon Valley in Northern California. This middle section includes an experimental group of poems engaged with personal, social, and spiritual notions of in-betweenness. The last section is concerned with questions such as: what makes us who we are; what makes us human; what makes us alive? Most poems are written in free verse, but I have experimented with blank verse, the sonnet, the villanelle, quatrains, and sestets and include poems written in those forms. I use dance as a metaphor to explore imagination and experience and examine how personal and geographic landscapes shape consciousness. In several poems, I also experiment with ephemera, place (personal and geographic), and performance in connection with art, spirituality, culture, and identity. In a sense, my collection may be read as an "interpretive dance" of engagement with ideas of permanence, impermanence, and in-betweenness.