Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts



First Advisor

David Wojahn

Second Advisor

Kathleen Graber

Third Advisor

Bryant Mangum


Collectively, the poems in Wintering Ground track a path through sobriety, documenting episodes of backsliding and the accompanying remorse, shame, and regret, as well as brief periods of triumph followed by inevitable failure. They insist on allusion and metaphor, approaching allegory as a means to better understand alcohol abuse through the language of desire and hunger. Specifically, they engage in an intertextual conversation with Greco-Roman and Judeo-Christian mythology, borrowing from each one’s accompanying philosophers, thinkers, and poets. It might be said that this method of allegory is meant to distance the speaker from his past errors and offenses, a way of evading accountability and its resulting guilt. However, it might also be said that this method only deepens comprehension of the past self. After all, what is myth other than an attempt to explain that which we do not know or cannot understand?


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Date of Submission


Available for download on Monday, March 19, 2221