Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts


Creative Writing

First Advisor

Jordan, Judy


AN ABSTRACT OF THE THESIS OF Lathan Ehlers, for the Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing, presented on 03 April 2017, at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. TITLE: REGRESSION TOWARD THE MEAN MAJOR PROFESSOR: Judy Jordan The poems in Regression Toward the Mean strive to determine a way to navigate the self when memory cannot be trusted. Understanding that memory is fallible, suggestible, and likely inaccurate, the speaker in these poems attempts find objective answers to questions surrounding his past by blending scientific theory with the personal narrative. Science and poetry can both be viewed as quests for truth, but the speaker finds not this elusive truth, but more ambiguity. It is in this ambiguity, however, that the speaker also finds agency—a way to move beyond his past and create a future for himself.




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