Date of Award

December 2018

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Mauricio Killeen Guevara

Committee Members

Brenda Cárdenas, Kimberley Blaeser, Rebecca Dunham, Joe Peschio





Peter Burzynski

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 2018

Under the Supervision of Professor Mauricio Kilwein Guevara

Dear Anybody is a dissertation addressed to an anybody, a somebody, and maybe with luck, a nobody. Where its content ends my context begins, but neither truly begin or end, simply intertwine. Anybody can read my dissertation manuscript and understand the poems, but somebody with more knowledge of Eastern Europe’s historical, linguistic, artistic, and poetic contexts will, with hope, find even more joy in all its darkness. It is an Eastern European tradition to find joy in darkness. It is one that arose out of necessity and in turn flourished as a kind of mindset. This mindset comes through in the psyche of the inhabitants of the Late Cold War period, particularly those living in the United States, the Soviet Union, and its Satellite Nations. This national proclivity towards dark humour, semi-Patriotic egoism, and messianic cynicism is only matched by the gregariousness and joy of welcoming strangers, laughter, and soulfulness. Before I delve into the historical context I will also mention that this essay will also attempt to offer the reader cultural, artistic, poetic, and linguistic contexts while performing its main task of giving historical context. Like the book and these contexts, these are all inseparable.