Bayless, Heather

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The Oxford English Dictionary defines poetic license as “the freedom to depart from the facts of a matter or from the conventional rules of language when speaking or writing in order to create an effect.” This definition leaves out the role of a poem to speak the truth: poetic license allows this Truth to be told without need for factual truth. Whatever the direct or imagined experiences may be, it is my goal that the reader finds an emotional truth within the poems and stirring of thoughts from the collection as a whole. I do not mean for the reader to be satisfied: the resolution of many of the poems will make this evident. Within my own writing I have been influenced most noticeably by Marie Howe’s use of the direct address, Sylvia Plath’s signature caustic wit, and lastly I was inspired by Analicia Sotelo’s ability to write about virginity as a language rather than a static state of being. I hope to have taken this farther by writing about it as an experience, and as a constant questioning of self. Where there is rigidity, I hope the reader as well finds specificity. Where there is disorder and seemingly random associations, I hope the reader will find subtlety and intentionality.



A collection of poems