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Publication Date

Spring 2023

Degree Type

Thesis - Campus Access Only

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)


English and Comparative Literature


J. M. Martinez

Subject Areas

English literature


Wandering Upwards seeks to utilize the metaphor of an out-of-body experience to explore poems centered around themes of dreams, politics and passion. This collection is intended to be an analysis of self in a spiritual, physical, and emotional sense. This is meant to express the diverse aspects of the human, and seeks to explore one of art’s most pressing all time questions: What does it mean to be human? I believe “who I am” is at the intersection of “who I’ve been” and “who I will be,” and that this is true both in a personal and societal level. I seek to approach this question by presenting as many aspects of my life as possible while also paying homage to the legacy of the communities I represent: specifically the writers, artists, people of color, who came before me, while also keeping in mind the generations who will come after. I believe the dialogue of writing has been kept alive for generations and that writers and poets have a duty to encapsulate the world around them as they see it. I intend to add to this eternal dialogue using the subjects and forms of poetry shown in this collection. Typically, when a person recounts an out-of-body experience, they have a different perspective on life afterwards, as if there are certain aspects or viewpoints that are altered forever. This collection wants to generate the same feeling from its readers.