Document Type



Master of Fine Arts (MFA)


Creative Writing

First Advisor's Name

Campbell McGrath

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Denise Duhamel

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Third Advisor's Name

Jason Pearl

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member


Arts and humanities, Creative Writing, Poetry

Date of Defense



Blotto in the Lifeboat is a book of poems that investigates natural processes and idiosyncrasies of human societies. Ranging from the absurd to the scientific in tone, the poems in Blotto in the Lifeboat situate themselves on the blurry-line between fact and imagination, employing a style that Thomas Lux describes as “imaginative realism.”

The middle of three sections is comprised solely of the long poem, “A Compendium of the True and Wondrous,” which collages remarkable facts and anecdotes to highlight the strange realities of the world and the rapidity of change. The first and third sections contain shorter, narrative poems in which the surreal or comic is often employed.

The language of the poems in BLOTTO IN THE LIFEBOAT reflects a similar desire to affix the fantastic to the familiar. Metaphors in the tradition of Elizabeth Bishop and Charles Simic rely on wild leaps of imagination to illuminate the real world.



Included in

Poetry Commons



Rights Statement

Rights Statement

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