Date of Award

May 2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Rebecca Dunham

Committee Members

Mauricio Kilwein-Guevara, Liam Callanan, Andrew Kincaid, Adream Blair


Albums, Ekphrasis, Phenomenlogy, Poetry


THE SMALL DISASTERS LP is a book of poems that respond to the visual and audible elements of musical albums. In this way, the ekphrastic method (traditionally, poetic representation of visual art) is simultaneously utilized and critiqued in order to explore an emotional landscape of melancholy, loss, death, and self-doubt. The poems navigate through their separate worlds as the speaker attempts to understand herself among these emotions. Three sections of poems, separated by standalone “intermezzo” poems, fluctuate through disorientation, deconstruction, and reorientation of voice and, therefore, self. The critical introduction to the book situates my investigation of ekphrasis’ value within the larger scope of ekphrastic tradition through a phenomenological lens.