Date Thesis Awarded
Honors Thesis -- Open Access
Bachelors of Arts (BA)
From the introduction: "When I proposed my honors thesis project in May 2012, I thought I would be writing narrative folklore poems set in Appalachia and coastal Maine. I wrote a proposal explaining how I see stories like Möbius strips and how I wanted to preserve the cyclical, timeless nature of provincial folklore in my poems. But I wanted the poems to surpass the subject matter, I wanted them to be unsettling. As I traveled this past summer, the project began to take on a life of its own. I wrote notes on everything I saw, took photographs, and even collected rocks from every place I stayed. Once the fall semester started and I had returned to Virginia, I traveled around Williamsburg and Richmond. I focused on my non-fiction writing, applied to MFA programs, and wrote the early poems in this collection. During the latter part of the spring semester, the poems seemed to crystallize on their own. I have honed my personal craft of writing throughout this process, but the ease with which some of these poems came cannot be attributed only to an improved technique. It was as though the collection reached the shape it desired on its own. Still Lives became a collection about space, time, and things with and without skin. The witches and ghosts and creatures became mediums for theoretical concepts lifted from my academic classes. Beyond the theory, I wanted my poems to have an emotional and physical weight, but also to transcend their locations and occasions. I wanted the poems to have a tactile, visceral quality."
Pittman, Claire Lewis, "Still Lives" (2013). Undergraduate Honors Theses. William & Mary. Paper 657.
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