Pressing seams

Abigail R Carl, University of Texas at El Paso


“Pressing Seams” is a collection of poems based on the experiences of Old Colony Mennonites living in settlements near Seminole, Texas, and Cuauhtémoc, Chihuahua, as well as on the experiences of marginalized individuals and groups living in the El Paso/Juárez region. The juxtaposition of the experiences of these individuals and communities within the geographic location of the United States-Mexico border creates a third space that is, as defined by Gloria Anzaldúa, “both geographical and metaphorical” where these poems seek to intersect and interact in dynamic ways that challenge the dominant socio-political and religious discourses and ideology that govern these communities (Anzaldúa 184). The intersection of these experiences within this third space allows for individuals and groups to press against external and internal power structures and to press against one another, which in turn creates more third spaces. This critical preface establishes the manuscript’s roots in oral history and ethnography, contextualizes the theory, poetics, and form that creates and navigates the third spaces where the power dynamics of dominant discourses are destabilized, and explores the ethics, functions, and possibilities of the imagination and the creation of imaginal space in poetry that is inspired by actual events.

Subject Area

American literature|Hispanic American studies|Creative writing

Recommended Citation

Carl, Abigail R, "Pressing seams" (2013). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI1539925.