Agnew, Mary Clare, Creative Writing - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
Teare, Brian, AS-Creative Writing, University of Virginia

Abandon is a manuscript of lyric poems obsessed with & ceaseless orbiting the intersections between absence & presence, loss & intimacy, self-harm & self-preservation, the ecstatic & the mundane, the living & the dead. At turns vengeful, erotic, & masochistic, Abandon ultimately seeks to reckon with the speaker’s relationship with her father as she leans into the black hole of his absence. Prayerful & incantatory, these poems draw upon the mysticism of Julian of Norwich & are populated by witches, white cats, rabbits, bones. The speaker grapples with the condition of embodiment, seeking its pleasures while desiring deliverance from its limitations. Romantic & familial love spar & bleed into one another in a world of intimacy not unlike the Winchester Mansion, filled with blind doors & stairs to nowhere. Can we be haunted by the living? What must the body do to live with pain? How do we deem what we deserve? Even if anger is justified, can it be lived with? How do we endure the beauty of life in the face of trauma?

MFA (Master of Fine Arts)
Poems, Poetry, Julian of Norwich
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