Date of Award

Spring 5-12-2018

Level of Access Assigned by Author

Open-Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Jennifer Moxley

Second Committee Member

Steve Evans

Third Committee Member

Benjamin Friedlander


The following manuscript is a creative writing thesis in poetry. The goal of the thesis was to expand my abilities as a poet and find a cohesion in my work. I wanted to utilize some skills gain in a fiction workshop and apply them to poetry, as well as gain influences in various fields of expertise through the other courses I’ve been taking in the English department. Essays for a poetics class, novels for an American literature class, and short stories for a fiction workshop gave me a base from which to work from and draw inspiration. Not only was required for class readings influential, but everyday writing such as social media, lyrics, and blogs became a source of inspiration.

By working with a small, informal poetry group in the previous semester and gaining feedback from peers in the fiction workshop, I reworked my pieces to have a sense of urgency, immediacy, and relevance. Though much of it focuses on my own experiences, people who read it seemed to find themselves relating to the work and thus wanted a way to connect even further with it, so through revision, I made the pieces as universal as possible, despite the heavy presences of the first person “I”.

The critical reflection works to provide some context for the composition decisions I made. I explain how I gained inspiration and from where; the context in which I wrote some of the pieces; formatting and diction choices; and citations of some of the accompanying works.

The thesis became a way for me to express my personal experiences and interests. It is an exploration of anxiety, every day observation, relationships, and heartbreak.