English, Department of


First Advisor

Prof. Grace Bauer

Second Advisor

Dr. Amelia Montes

Third Advisor

Dr. Julia Schleck

Date of this Version



A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts, Major: English, Under the Supervision of Professor Grace Bauer. Lincoln, Nebraska: April, 2020

Copyright 2020 Jordan E. Charlton


I KNOW THESE THINGS AND OTHER LIES is a thesis comprised of an Ars Poetica essay and a collection of poems. The essay addresses my history with poetry, thoughts on how I view the act of writing, my reading inspirations, and how this collection began to be formed. The poems in this collection delve into the realities of black identity to observe the tensions between speech and silence, between memory and perpetuity. These poems address my cultural and personal history and take aim at the silences attributed to masculinity, black masculinity specifically. A sample of these poems is included here.

Advisor: Grace L. Bauer