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  • 2019KatelynVerSprillPhD

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A journey interrupted: The shaping of liminal space in poetic composition

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

  • Kate Ver Sprill
Publication date2019
Number of pages113
Awarding Institution
Award date25/10/2019
  • Lancaster University
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The thesis which follows is composed of two parts. The first component is a
critical reflection of just over 20,000 words that details the process through which I wrote the poems in the collection it precedes. The research aims to demonstrate, using the liminal space of stone circles as an oblique influence, how poems shape and create liminal space, how an experience of that space is ordered by the structures that enclose it, and how those structures facilitate connection with the poem through phenomenological response. My theories draw support from Henri Lefebvre, Mircea Eliade, Lyn Hejinian, James Joyce, Wendell Berry, among others. I also employ poems by Michael Donaghy, John Burnside, Paul Farley, and Tracy K. Smith to further support my claims. The critical essay also reflects on the nature of creative practice itself through a discussion of the divergences my own poems took in the course of their composition. Due to gaps inherent in language, the creative process is
itself an area of liminality that asks for a certain flexibility and adaptability in a writer.

The second, and more important, component is a collection of forty poems that
embody and view liminal space from various angles, perspectives, and structures. While the scholarly research explains the process through which the poems were written, it is the poems which provide the final answers and which demonstrate that practice, more than anything else, is the true research a writer undertakes. They demonstrate my negotiation with liminality, poetic structure, and the limits of authorial intention while telling a story of distances, heartaches, missed connections, longing, and, ultimately, hope.