Date of Award


Level of Access Assigned by Author

Campus-Only Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Jennifer Moxley

Second Committee Member

Steven Evans

Third Committee Member

Ken Norris


Chained Behind the Shell is a collection of poetry accumulated from four years of poetic writings. The collection is broken into four main subheadings: The Feminine Embryos, The Yolk's Pen, Along the Cracks, and Seeping Through the Cracks. These four subsections break the poetry into the major themes being addressed within the collection. The Feminine Embryos deals with the feminine side of the sex, from birth to death. Each poem speaks on the female condition and various experiences of the female sex. The Yolk's Pen deals with the struggle of writing. The poetry within this section deal with the frustration of writer's block to the struggle to find the right words for a piece of poetry. The third section, Along the Cracks, struggles with the trails and tribulations of a bad relationship and the hardships of love. And finally, the collection ends on the section entitled Seeping Through the Cracks, which deals with the observations made by various situations that life throws at a person. From the mundane headache and stress, to the more complex subjects of death and the human condition, Seeping Through the Cracks takes a peek at each one. The purpose of the collection is for each person to look at the everyday with a new perspective. It is meant to speak to people on an individual, one-onone basis. The poetry within this collection is not seen as being for 'everybody,' but as each one is seen as being for 'somebody.' Each poem tells a story, expresses the human condition and the mind from which the experience is thought through. The poems are literally reflections of my thoughts, my reality, and my vision in relation to the outside world. Watching people interact and interacting with other people creates ideas and experiences for me to draw from. Each poem was crafted through the use of free verse with thoughts given to the space of the page. The lines are rhythmic, with an easy to follow flow and use of everyday language. Enjambment is used heavily, with the purpose of creating a quicker or slower pace within each poem. Every poem found is an original piece of writing created to convey emotion and the physiological thought process. The poem's imagery is put together with 'the best words' to create the strongest impact visually, vocally, or through the ideas represented. Each word is to speak to you, the reader, and spark a thought or a feeling as the lines are read. The point is for you to have a meaning that is your own outside and beyond what I may have had in mind when I wrote the poem; an emotion that was created by the words and the space that belongs to you on a personal level. There is no right or wrong way to read my work. The meaning that you pull from the poem is 'the right meaning.' The poem remains an open circle, not a closed one.