What Lands

Publication Date


Degree Type

Creative Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts



Date of Closing Conversation


First Committee Member

Maureen Seaton

Second Committee Member

Chantel Acevedo

Third Committee Member

Mia Leonin


The following creative thesis is a sonnet cycle in the voice of the mysterious Everglades, which is personified—or deified—and addressing the skunk ape, a rendering of humanity’s tragic mucking around. The sonnets are interrupted into four sections by shorter ballad-like pieces. The voice uses an accentual meter of five stresses per line, against which I’ve syncopated and enjambed metrical phrases of variable tonic foot and asymmetrical length. These phrases are sometimes punctuated with internal rhyme and framed by sounds that fork understanding (or try) through phonetic ambiguity. One function of these poems sees the words as metaphors for footprints in the sediment of my psyche. If they paint faltering, it’s because I’m a skunk ape trying to dance in neck-deep water. The path begins and ends in the same place—the reader can be moved or not.


sonnet; sonnet cycle; everglades; skunk ape

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