Honors Fellowships

Emma Aylor

Name: Emma Aylor
Title of Project:
Wallace Stevens and the Constructive Imaginative Belief
Christopher MacGowan
Honors Department: English

Wallace Stevens’ poetry is best-known for its exploration of imagination and meditation as part of the search for what he called the “supreme fiction.” This potential fiction, necessary in Stevens’ view for the modern age, would replace the myth-remnants of past religions, vestigial beliefs and mythologies which could no longer satisfy. In my thesis, I will examine Stevens’ drafts and unpublished manuscripts, as well as his body of poetic work, letters, essays, reviews, journal entries, and interviews, to explore in particular the way this search for a sustaining but temporary fiction incorporates the intersection of his claims for love, art, and religious belief.

By receiving both Dintersmith and Shrieves fellowships, I am able to visit special collections libraries throughout New England and Chicago in order to read manuscripts, drafts, and other unpublished material which will help to illuminate my study.

Hometown:Lynchburg, VA
Majors: English
Future Plans: After graduation, I plan to go on to complete a Master of Fine Arts in poetry, teach creative writing at the collegiate level, and work on my own writing.
Hobbies: Writing and reading
Fun Fact: I’m the editor-in-chief of Bullet Quarterly, a literary magazine focused on anonymous autobiographical writing.

Follow Emma’s research on the W&M Honors Fellowships blog!