All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Adam Vines

Advisory Committee Members

Gale Temple

James Braziel

Document Type

Thesis

Date of Award

2014

Degree Name by School

Master of Arts (MA) College of Arts and Sciences

Abstract

The poems in this collection generally focus on the relationship between people and place, specifically the landscapes and cultural habits of South Alabama. Many of the poems meander through dense woodlands and backwaters while confronting life, death, destruction, and renewal. The speakers and characters that populate these poems often shoulder some anxiety that becomes enmeshed in and informed by their physical surroundings. Ecology, therefore, plays a major role in the poetry, particularly that of the Coastal Plain's historic longleaf pine habitat and the necessary land management practice of "fire ecology." Additionally, the poetry explores land use from multiple angles. One common thread throughout the collection is the father-son relationship of a conflicted land developer and his son, where the boy grows up in the overlap of his father's two passions--his allure to freedom and wilderness, and his devotion to progress and business. The poetry further seeks to understand the mindset of progress, ambition, greed, apathy, and charity through a number of poems that occasionally depart from South Alabama into other real or even fictive lands. In doing so, this collection often touches on other subjects relevant to Southern culture and the American identity as a whole--conformity, politics, community, gentrification, displacement, faith, love, and war.

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