Date of Award


Document Type

USM Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)



First Advisor

Diane Seuss

Second Advisor

Cate Marvin

Third Advisor

Justin Tussing


Handshaking Instructions, poems by Felice Alexandra, exists both in time and space and the physical world and also transcends them. In this work the unseen and the seen shake hands. It is a coming to terms with the fact that so much in life, like the iceberg, is beneath the surface. In these poems you will find the grounded things of the world: animals, trees, hands, a home loan application, sex, parenting, cars—and also, throughout the manuscript, there are openings in the veil. Hands pop through. Spirits and messengers appear in various shapes: fox, coyote, a fish with a coin in its mouth, Christ figures, doves, an albatross, and many others. The poet works with the shamanic idea, sometimes implied and other times overt, of traveling to other worlds and where possible, bringing back healing.


This is a record is restricted to USM access only.