Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts



First Advisor

David Wojahn

Second Advisor

Kathleen Graber

Third Advisor

Richard Fine


The poems in this collection are concerned with impermanence, memory, illness, and a desire for the speaker to control and understand the uncontrollable, both in mind and physical body. These poems are often grounded in the concrete and definable scientific world—astronomy, botany, etc.—as a way to interpret and ground oneself in the indefinable aspects of the speaker's world. These poems investigate the pressure one person, one place, and even one’s own body impose on the experience of girlhood in the Deep South. They navigate the relationship between place and the self—the ways in which place cleaves an individual. The environment is a space that embodies narratives of the people who live there, and in turn embeds the speaker in that system of understanding the world and her place in it. These poems also explore the speaker’s relationships, quasi-motherhood, and the aftermath of illness and the toll it takes on body, mind, and personal relationships.


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