NameLee, Nissa Anne (author), Grodstein, Lauren (chair), Zeidner, Lisa (internal member), Rutgers University, Camden Graduate School, ,
Pine Barrens (N.J.)--Poetry
DescriptionBarrens is a poetry collection that examines the complexities of female identity, mostly using the backdrop of the New Jersey Pine Barrens where I spent my childhood. All but a handful of poems are free verse, and many operate under the impulses of persona poetry, but together, create narrative threads. The first section of the book, “In Exchange for a Tongue” focuses on developing an identity while simultaneously navigating relationships. The girls of these poems dismantle the elements of their physical and emotional experiences in attempts to find the proper mode of expression: Should I be restrained or animalistic? What concessions am I willing to make? How will I maintain my integrity, if I ever had it in the first place? In the second section, “Mother Leeds Speaks,” I give a little-recognized figure in Pine Barrens folklore—the mother of the Jersey Devil—a voice in order to explore how a story changes according to the needs of the story teller. In this version of this old folktale, not only does Mother Leeds give birth to a monster, she has a twin brother with similar monstrous features. She is both terrified and intrigued by the monster latent within her. These poems struggle with the question of what defines a woman who has little control of the elements that divide her.
Noteby Nissa Anne Lee
CollectionCamden Graduate School Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.