Date of Award

Spring 5-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)




Creative Writing

Committee Director

Luisa A. Igloria

Committee Member

Remica Bingham-Risher

Committee Member

Molly McCully Brown


As far as the arguments about the concepts of nature and nurture and which of them have the most influence on the individual, I have always leaned towards nurture. The concept of nurture posits that we are a sum total of the environmental factors that influence our upbringing ranging from interaction with family to the surrounding culture of our society. As someone who was born into a deeply religious Christian family as a Pastor’s child, it forms a core of my personality, something I have realized with time and a move to America to study writing.

I like to think that I started to really deconstruct who I am when I traveled overseas, far away from everything I have ever known, far from the people that have influenced me in many ways, far from the things I have always run to. This body of work is a personal reflection and manifesto on who I am as a person without the safety of family. However, the work of deconstruction is in many ways, an act of documentation. We do not exist in a vacuum and I found myself reaching for the filial threads that existed long before I existed. In doing this, I realize how much I do not yet know. Thus, this body of work which starts out as a personal exploration become a frantic attempt to document the now and then because memory is fleeting and what we have now, I must protect in writing.

While I am certain that this is in no way an exhaustive documentation of the threads that have formed me, it is a start and sometimes starts are all we need.


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