Control burn

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Colby Cotton (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Stuart Dischell

Abstract: I grew up poor in a rural area of western New York, and my poems wrestle with the poverty, and landscape of the Rust Belt region. A great deal of my work deals with the aftermath of suicide, and violence as a response to grief, so that much of my poems take the form or tone of elegy. I see myself as merging the real with the incendiary. Fire and arson provide a means of exploring the physical and psychological landscapes created in rural areas. Fire is often the clearest path for me to explore this region because it was ubiquitous; growing up poor, no one had money for dump tickets, so they burned their trash. When the cornfields needed to be cleaned of stalks, or readied for the next season, farmers burned them. Without air conditioning, our trailer was something of an ember. We fed our trees into the wood stove in the winter. It felt like the area had burned up my friend who took his own life. The work seeks to create a wildness that I felt was always below the surface in my rural upbringing. Being someone who hardly succeeded in school, and came from a poor family in an area that people call “nowhere” I always felt I wasn’t or couldn’t’ be heard. These poems are screaming. In my work I want to create landscapes, scenes, and characters that must be heard.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2017
Elegy, Poetry, Poverty, Suicide
Poverty $v Poetry
Elegiac poetry, American
Landscapes in literature

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