Date of Award

Spring 2023

Document Type

Open Access Thesis


English Language and Literatures

First Advisor

Liz Countryman


This thesis explores homonymic variations of the word “spell,” sewing together the framework for the ways my poems think about bilingualism, magic, Caribbean poetics, migration between northern and southern terrain, the body and personal spirituality. This thesis also experiments with forms old and new, such as the sonnet, and what I am naming “little altar poems” and “fragmented episodes.” These three forms attempt to do the work of recuperating Caribbean narratives and epistemologies. The “estrella sonnet” sequence uses the premise of an abortion as a way to initiate a nuanced discussion around how white patriarchy defines choice, consequently disregarding the sacred privacy of a person’s body, and the power harnessed in that autonomy. The speaker in these sonnets, Estrella, ultimately casts themselves out of the language of systemic law and recenters abortions as a source of body-power and self-creation. Other poems draw from personal narrative and varying levels of consciousness to present a composition of an Afro-Caribbean femme experience and desire for radical transformations.


© 2023, Alana Ines Perez

Available for download on Thursday, May 15, 2025