Publication Date


Degree Type

Creative Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts



Date of Closing Conversation


First Committee Member

Jaswinder S. Bolina

Second Committee Member

Maureen T. Seaton

Third Committee Member

Kathryn L. Nuernberger


The following creative thesis is a heartfelt expedition through Appalachia, where a cruel and abused heritage continues to lick its wounds in a continuously neglectful globalized world. A region of constant and layered struggle, these poems strive to establish an intimacy between the reader and the narratives, narratives that implicate a larger political and social picture, narratives that say: we exist and we hurt. They examine how sexuality and gender are shaped and bent by rurality, and ultimately seek to decimate political, religious, and sexual norms. These poems invite readers to try to understand a region so often forgotten or mocked, and their use of bold dialect and colloquialisms reveal linguistic beauty and musicality that hopefully renders Appalachia more than just dying coal country. This thesis simply asks: listen.


mountains; gender; Elvis; coal; Patsy Cline; rural

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