Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts



First Advisor

David Wojahn

Second Advisor

Sonja Livingston

Third Advisor

Dr. Bryant Mangum


If Not the Body is a collection of poems centered around the physical, female body—the body in peril, the body as continuation, the body as revelation, the body as variable. Tracing both a literal and metaphorical lineage over five sections, these poems reckon with a personal, familial, and regional history in an attempt to answer the collections’ repeated questions: “What am I made of?” and “If illness uglies the world, / what redeems it?”

Drawing from personal experience, family history, and reckoning with mathematic, logical, and temporal limitations, Null Hypothesis: Essays focuses on what it means to embody, to experience. With particular attention to and emphasis on the self-consciousness of writing, these essays attempt to exemplify the inevitable frameshift afforded by illness, and how our bodies, our selves, our relationships, faith, and even our memories—as embodied things—manifest and matter in the corporeal world.


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Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission


Available for download on Friday, March 20, 2218