English Language and Literature ETDs
Even if something’s observable, does that mean we can trust it? In Spectator, a collection of poems in three parts, a speaker asks this question repeatedly. As a child of immigrants, her identity feels constantly in flux and, often, threatened. What does it mean that her identity doesn’t take the form her parents ascribe to her? She finds that her present often feels like a betrayal of the past, especially as she begins to fall in love—which is, in itself, a kind of illusion. An illusion, though, is still instructive—perhaps more so than something we believe, unshakably to be true.
Spectator is a dance between the present and the past. The speaker collects and arranges her memories to try to make sense of her present and, indeed, she finds bright moments of clarity. Ultimately, though, she finds herself manipulating the images of the people she loves to more closely mirror herself—and her self will not stay still.
MFA Creative Writing
Level of Degree
First Committee Member (Chair)
Second Committee Member
Third Committee Member
Fourth Committee Member
memory, identity, retelling, mirrors, apparitions
Ramakrishnan, Rhea Erica. "Spectator." (2022). https://digitalrepository.unm.edu/engl_etds/322
Available for download on Friday, August 01, 2121