Date of Award


Degree Type

Closed Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Beth Gylys

Second Advisor

Randy Malamud

Third Advisor

Leon Stokesbury


This dissertation consists of a collection of sixty pages of poetry of various styles and forms, predominately in free verse. Subject matter includes family and relationships, especially between women of different generations; history, both personal/family and public; language; means of handling grief and death; travel and return; and sense of place/home. As a writer, I often find myself taking moments from my own life and transforming them into poems. All language fascinates me, especially words that are closely tied to the culture from which they emerge. Several poems in the collection rely on unusual, untranslatable, or forgotten words. These poems explore the relationships between place, history, culture, and language. All of these are intertwined, and it is often difficult to extract one element and study it discretely from the rest. Additionally, history, both collective and personal, often provides a stimulus for my poems and is useful in bridging the gap between personal memories and associations and those of the reading audience. I often approach the past through photographs, physical objects, or landscapes, or share stories of my own family’s history. Many of these poems are about questioning one’s own ancestry. I create myths about myself and others, often my own family and ancestors, building a story around a particular truth. In these poems, I rewrite my own history and experiences.



Available for download on Thursday, April 23, 2099