Date of Award


Document Type

Union College Only

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Jenifer Mitchell

Second Advisor

JillMarie Murphy



Vibrant Darkness is a collection of poetry and photography that explores the conversations between different artistic mediums. The images provide inspiration for all of the poems written, unveiling how writing reacts to photography, while photography is based on a series of interactions. The photographs centralize around urban settings consisting of Prague, New York, Newport, and Boston, as well as some portraits developed within these cities and at Union College. Through the process of capturing, writing, and reflecting, this thesis exposes the dualities within the reactions to different spaces, environments, and people. For instance, while some interactions to varying environments may differ intensely, other variances may at times cause similar emotional responses to unfold. In summary, simply because nature or urbanism differ in their composition, the reader and writer may not experience differing emotive affects from analyzing these spaces.

The poems throughout Vibrant Darkness rest in an uncertain state, with hints of both optimism and melancholy. This is portrayed with the passage of time throughout the collection, wherein several poems and photographs were composed weeks, months, or years ago. Just as the poems navigate growth, so do the interactions. For instance, some emotive reactions may have once been based in a more dismal state, but through writing, become more optimistic in their reflection. Similarly, moments that were once thought of fondly, could transcend into more of a neutral stance, recognizing the persistence of grief through growth.

In addition, the core of many of these interactions is the exploration of objects. While many of the images consist of people or spaces, the poems frequently centralize on the objects, background details, or memories attached to these environments--not necessarily what rests in the central image. In this sense, objects and time play a central role in fabricating each emotive reaction or poetic tone. People and spaces may fade, but objects hold power over time, just as the art capturing these moments do. These interactions between poetry and photography implement the broader notion of affect theory into most of the collection’s relationships with artistic mediums and the resulting emotive responses upon viewing them.

The collection ultimately seeks to explore the eternal nature of reactions. The poems and photographs in Vibrant Darkness often rely on varied possibilities within each creation or interpretation, enabling readers to reflect on their own reactions.

Available for download on Tuesday, March 26, 2024



Rights Statement

In Copyright