Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing



First Committee Member

Claudia Keelan

Second Committee Member

Donald Revell

Third Committee Member

Jane Hafen

Fourth Committee Member

Danielle Roth-Johnson

Number of Pages



The following manuscript deals with a range of themes including origin, family, place, gender, sexuality and their intersections. The title, Combining the Names of Ancestors with the Names of Birds, and title poem exemplify the intersection of origin, family, place (ancestors) and gender, sexuality, movement, change and freedom (birds). Combining

their names speaks to the interplay between memory and imagination that has served as a foundation for all of the poems in this manuscript. This manuscript is split into three sections: Origin, which deals with home, with growing up in Louisiana, with the land and the water, my family and my childhood. It points to where I'm grounded and from where I reach outward; Masculine Spring is about newness, self-discovery and turns away from the past and the future to look inward. The title poem of Masculine Spring is everything that has come before in the motion of becoming new; Future Wife, America looks outward again and toward the future. This section is the most experimental of the three in terms of form, moving away from strict line breaks and self-limiting cadences by playing with repetition as well as prose and epistolary forms.


American poetry


Creative Writing | Fine Arts | Poetry