Date of Award

Spring 2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)



Committee Director

Luisa Igloria

Committee Member

Michael Pearson

Committee Member

Timothy Seibles


My thesis is a hybrid text that incorporates both poems and nonfiction essays. It essentially functions as one very long, very unusual narrative. Though the works in the thesis incorporate multiple locations, both in the US and abroad, the manuscript begins and ends in central Indiana. The best way I can describe what happens in between to say it is an exploration of trauma, mental illness, and what healing sometimes looks like. Though much of what is contained here has been called “dark” and “visceral,” I don’t like to leave it at that. Instead, I see the potential for these pieces to be cathartic. I see the value in embracing negative emotions through writing rather than trying to make them into something they are not. I see a kind of beauty in fear, grief, and anger. When I write, I see a chance to share that beauty with an audience. I also see a chance to represent a fuller version of the human experience; I see a chance to convey the idea of wholeness.