English, Department of


First Advisor

Grace Bauer

Second Advisor

Ted Kooser

Third Advisor

Kenneth Price

Date of this Version

Spring 2017


Macijeski, Rebecca. Silence Emerging from Birds, PhD dissertation, University of Nebraska. April 2017.


A DISSERTATION Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Major: English, Under the Supervision of Professor Grace Bauer. Lincoln, Nebraska: May, 2017

Copyright (c) 2017 Rebecca S. Macijeski


This dissertation represents the culmination of five years of creative activity in poetry. Included within this document are three main components: 1.) a critical introduction to my book-length manuscript of original poems complete to satisfy the requirements of creative writing within the English Department; 2.) a description of my creative activity reflected in that book-length manuscript, and; 3.) a sample of previously published original poems from the manuscript. I will describe each of these components in greater detail below.

The critical introduction to the creative work seeks to explore and examine various aesthetic and theoretical influences on my poems. The introduction references specific poets whose ideas have shaped my approach to my collection, as well as the possible pitfalls I hope to avoid in creating a poetry collection with an overarching narrative. I describe m overall approach to drafting the various types and forms of poems that build the larger work. The introduction essay also takes a close look at certain of my poems that demonstrate key poetic strategies in action in order to contextualize my work within that of the poets I cite as influences; the effect of this is to assert the place of my own poetics within the broader tradition of American poetry.

The description of the manuscript digs more deeply into the work of the poems themselves. It outlines the manuscript’s major aesthetic concerns and strategies, and offers possibilities for what kind of reading experience the work seeks to create. The description also functions to explicate the relationship between the collection’s two poetic sequences; these sequences interweave to create multiple layers of resonance and overlapping meanings.

The sample poems demonstrate the range and scope of the larger work. As noted in the acknowledgements section, these poems have been previously published in a variety of journals.

Advisor: Grace Bauer