Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Lyons, Richard.

Committee Member

Pierce, Catherine.

Committee Member

Hagenston, Becky.

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms

MSU Only Indefinitely

Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Campus Access Only



Degree Name

Master of Arts


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of English


With his collected works, titled What About This, recently released, Frank Stanford has been resurrected in searing splendor. My thesis introduction will focus on Stanford’s first published collection, The Singing Knives. I chose The Singing Knives as the critical component to my thesis because of Stanford’s gritty presentation of poor-white Southern culture through his incorporation of Southern Gothic elements, such as the grotesque, and violent imagery often preoccupied with blood. With his penchant for the surreal, Stanford demonstrates a serious affinity for juxtaposition, particularly in his use of the grotesque and strange in proximity to the ordinary. What Stanford accomplishes so magnificently is the ability to make disconcerting and, at times, disturbing images beautiful and poignant. Along with juxtaposition, I will examine how Stanford uses anaphora and conceits toward the purpose of mythic narrative. I plan to follow this critical introduction with a minimum of forty pages of original poetry.