Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts



First Advisor

Joseph, Allison


This project examines degeneration, from the end of relationships to the decline of the natural world due to Climate Change, but also (re)generation via reproduction, replication, making, and mothering. It asks how and whether a life of creativity, whether in making life or making art, is possible. Postmodern and post-Nature concerns which make uncertain the future of biological reproduction and parenting—such as environmental destruction, patriarchy (as in the overturning of Roe v. Wade), and the COVID-19 pandemic—comprise the psychic fabric of the poems and influence the forms they take. Across four sections, nearly forty original poems of wonder adopt varying tones, explore different chromatics and image systems, and employ many art/poetry forms to make sense of the vicissitudes of young womanhood in this era. Thus, the speaker(s) negotiate variations of love (maternal, romantic, self, etcetera), intimacy, sex, and sexuality. The poems, though lyrical and driven by diction and syntax, are often comical and wry, some even inserting their own meta disclaimers, all as conscious mechanisms to counter their romantic, confessional, and self-indulgent flurries. While the project draws no concrete conclusions regarding healing or hope, it does entertain that life, though anxiety-ridden and altogether fugacious, isn’t totally dissonant with imagination, creativity, and making, the products of which can still offer temporary refuge and solace.




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