Title

Providencia, A Book of Poems

Date of Completion

January 2011

Keywords

Literature, Modern|Literature, Caribbean|GLBT Studies|Literature, American

Degree

Ph.D.

Abstract

This dissertation uses both critical and creative means to engage three main tropes of boundary crossing connected with the trickster figure articulated over the past decades by writers and scholars in the field. By exploring the theories related to the trickster tropes of boundary crossing, analyzing the works of two Afro-Caribbean female poets, and writing poems of my own, I link creative writing and literary theory to show the different ways we read, write, and construct identity. ^ The critical preface brings together theories of mythology and anthropology to explore the three tropes of boundary crossing associated with the trickster figure. The three tropes I examine are: the trickster's voracious hunger, his ability to physically shape-shift, and his talent of inverting the sacred and the profane. These tropes allow for the positive disruption with which trickster is associated, and also frame the four sections of my manuscript. ^ The trickster figure has been crucial through my creative writing process because so much of what trickster does is associated with positive disruption and creative boundary crossing. My own poems are often invested in various types of disruption, either through thematic or formal means, and the male speaker who recurs throughout the poems crosses many boundary thresholds in his quest for self. These poems help to illustrate my own artistic engagement with the theoretical issues raised in my critical preface. ^