Exhuming Mary Lincoln: found poetry in biographical fiction

Chappell, T.L (2023) Exhuming Mary Lincoln: found poetry in biographical fiction. PhD thesis, Bath Spa University.

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This study investigates the integration of found poetry with prose to create a hybrid work of biographical fiction. More specifically this investigation explores the ways in which found poetry based on historical documents might significantly inform narrative and structure. The novel, Widow Lincoln, serves as the field of practice for this examination and forms the basis of the contextualizing thesis, outlined as follows: Chapter One introduces the research, acquaints the reader with the subgenres of found poetry and biographical fiction (biofiction), reviews relevant literature in the field, and briefly introduces methodology. Chapter Two provides definitions of key terms and takes a look at general reservations surrounding the two genres, while in Chapter Three the integration of found poetry is examined through the lens of two unique but complementary works of biofiction. Chapter Four investigates the development of a selection of found poems within Widow Lincoln and briefly explores their influence on the layout and structure of the novel. Finally, this study suggests two new contributions to knowledge in the field of creative writing: 1. the categorization of a subgenre within found poetry identified here as exhumed poetry to denote poems drawn specifically from the historical record, and 2. a new approach to biofiction which integrates found poetry as part of a sustained narrative. This investigation suggests a method for incorporating found poetry based on historical documents, including the personal correspondence of historical figures, into a work of biofiction as a means of promoting a more intimate engagement between the writer and the subject, the subject and the story, and ultimately between the story and the reader.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)

The document attached to this record is the contextualising research section of the thesis only. It does not include the creative component, which is the manuscript for the novel 'Widow Lincoln'.

Keywords: PhD by Practice, creative writing, biographical fiction, found poetry, historical documents, personal correspondence, 19th century, US history, Mary Todd Lincoln
Divisions: School of Writing, Publishing and the Humanities
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.17870/bathspa.00015362
Date Deposited: 30 May 2023 16:55
Last Modified: 19 Feb 2024 18:29
URI / Page ID: https://researchspace.bathspa.ac.uk/id/eprint/15362
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