Master of Fine Arts
Date of Defense
The poems in my thesis collection, The Stranger’s Nose, are forms of travel that actively create their destinations with each step they take. Even in settings that bear a precise resemblance to locations the reader knows, language imparts something unfamiliar to the scene. The city and the country appear not as opposing places but as sources of different mysteries. In my work, language has leverage over the world and anything can spring into existence through naming it. I think there is a need for this strain of anti-realist optimism given the depressing deadlocks humanity finds itself in all over the world. The stakes are real. These poems voice frustrations and struggle with loss but try to keep their sense of humor. They have in their sight the vast expanse of what is possible. Sometimes, pain and grief sit center stage. Often, they only flicker on the periphery as a spirit of experimentation leads the way. The Stranger’s Nose carves out a little extra space for creativity in the midst of adversity.
Stern, Jacob, "The Stranger's Nose" (2019). Theses. 349.
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