Gnaw Bone

Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)



First Advisor

Susan Conley

Second Advisor

T Clutch Fleischmann

Third Advisor

Justin Tussing


Even in the woods of Indiana (in an unincorporated community called Gnaw Bone, to be exact) life happens much as it happens elsewhere—people fight, they fall in love, they go to jail. I escaped this place of my childhood and moved to Washington, D.C., where I learned that much is the same no matter where I go. By exploring significant moments of my childhood in the region many call the Heartland and comparing it to my new city life, I touch on themes our country as a whole is pondering—identity, belonging, acceptance, and greed. I shine a light on an often-overlooked part of the country that, for me, contains a family that is beautiful and loving because of their imperfections.