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Publication Date

Summer 2018

Degree Type

Thesis - Campus Access Only

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)


English and Comparative Literature


Alan Soldofsky


crime, death, docupoetry, poetry, soul, suicide

Subject Areas

Literature; Philosophy; Criminology


Soul In A Matchbox is a book length work of poetry that utilizes nonfictional sources as well as original poems and stories to tell the narrative of a teenage girl’s death. I have used an assortment of primary sources that include official police reports and an image from video footage. The book begins with poetry snippets focused on the evidence recorded the night the teen died. The book then expands the perspective of the teen’s death through incorporating interviews with the girl’s family and friends. Through this book, the reader is exposed to contemporary social issues such as access to guns, addiction, and child pornography. These issues are threaded into the six-part structure of the book. The last part provides more insight into a shocking incident, which occurred after the girl’s death. Her grave marker was stolen. The act of stealing her grave marker is like the act of erasing her existence. The book ends with my own action to replace her grave marker. I wrote Soul In A Matchbox to remember this teenage girl’s life.