Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts



First Advisor

David Wojahn

Second Advisor

Sonja Livingston

Third Advisor

Kathy Graber

Fourth Advisor

Cristina Stanciu


The poetry collection in four sections features pieces concerned with memory, particularly of the author’s childhood in Ireland. Difficult family relationships as well as early romantic failures are prominent obsessions. Landscapes and careful portraits of characters recur. Travel to Eastern Europe and within the author’s adopted United States give the opportunity to meditate on larger issues and spans of time. Domestic pleasures and the struggle to be a good parent and husband provide the ultimate trajectory of the work.

The nonfiction memoir consists of eight essays which tackle among other topics a failed first marriage, a return visit to the author’s high school in Dublin, an analysis of how the dead come back to haunt us in the everyday, and a mirroring of colonial exploration in contemporary lives. The common thread is the many ways “home” can be understood and run away from.


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Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission


Available for download on Saturday, May 09, 2020