Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)


English/Creative Writing

First Advisor

Jill McDonough

Second Advisor

Lloyd Schwartz

Third Advisor

Lillian-Yvonne Bertram


Hands Pull You Apart is a book poetry of in progress arranged in a triptych. The central section of the work, Palmyra, is the result of a research project into the ancient history of Palmyra, Syria, the history of Western archaeology in the region, and current events. These poems explore the treatment of Palmyra, Syria by ISIS and Western culture in the form epic couplets—examining the role of imperialism and cultural appropriation in memory and tradition. While the Palmyra poems speak on an international scale, the poems in the surrounding sections investigate similar themes on an intimate level. These poems attempt to unravel the speakers position from both the margins (Jewish, Queer, Woman) and the center of power (White, North American) in a global arena.


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