Not One Without Water
Date of Award
Master of Fine Arts
Dr. Austin Hummell
The poems in this collection represent an exploration of connections and disconnections between the author’s Native American heritage, the female body and violence, and a strong sense of place. Major themes interact with and weave around one another, creating a kaleidoscopic vision of the narrator’s experiences. Always, the natural world plays an essential role the poems, not just as background or setting, but rather as a character in its own right, with whom the narrator interacts. Like all well-rounded characters, the natural world is neither completely beneficent of completely maleficent; it is not simply a metaphor for beauty or evil, but rather has its own story, which bisects or parallels the speaker’s story for the length of a few stanzas. The narrator is either connected to it or disconnected from it in some way. Often, the narrator is exploring a sense of disconnection from her Native American heritage or a flawed connection to her own body. Even in the poems which appear to be about interactions between people, there are usually issues at play which represent the aforementioned themes. The ideas most often manifest as short lyric poems with a strong narrative bent, and demonstrate the use of a variety of poetic forms and techniques, with iambic rhythm and forms that rely upon it dominating the collection.
Pelky, Rebecca A., "Not One Without Water" (2015). All NMU Master's Theses. 45.