Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts



First Advisor

David Wojahn

Second Advisor

Lina María Ferreira Cabeza-Vanegas

Third Advisor

Kathleen Graber

Fourth Advisor

David Golumbia


This work is divided in two: a collection of poems entitled Grave Goods, and Pentimento: Essays. The manuscripts comprising this thesis are companions, mining the shared territory of observations and concerns. This thesis works across time and within it, reveling in close attention. The writer inhabits liminal spaces, sustained by uncertainty and effort. This thesis celebrates the pleasures of discovery and creation that practice and process—or being and making—have to offer.

Grave Goods is divided into three sections, corresponding to excavation, fragments and assemblage. Grave goods are said to serve as offerings for gods that the deceased be treated well in the afterlife. They serve the living and dead in remembering and forgetting. Finally, grave goods are offerings for the deceased on their journey. This framework gestures toward themes of familial attachment, trauma, and bonds between mind and matter, but also toward the speaker’s primary modes of process, drawing on works of female saints, artists, and philosophers for fragments informing the speaker’s own experiences.

Pentimento: Essays is a collection of essays divided into three sections, corresponding to engravings, portrait studies, and radiation. Translated from Italian, pentimento means repentance. In art history, the term refers to a visible or invisible trace of an earlier painting beneath the layers of paint on a canvas. The term suggests revision; an artist’s change of mind. Serving as conceptual framework for the collection’s arc, traces inform thes essays, which concern inheritance, trauma, faith, and the fraught space between body and mind.


© Katherine Mooney Brooks

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission


Available for download on Saturday, April 01, 2220