Date of Award

Spring 2019

Document Type

USM Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)



First Advisor

Martin Espada

Second Advisor

Jeanne Marie Beaumont

Third Advisor

Justin Tussing


This collection of poems consists of work touching on, to borrow a line, my pervasive theme of ashes. As a necropastoral, the poems contained herein work to complicate the narrative of the Midwest as the wholesome breadbasket of Mayberry America, and to break the complicit silence around open-enrollment education as a throw-away social experiment. Into this work I have poured my experiences, lived and observed, of Kansas, of teaching English at a community college, of marginal poverty, and of existing as a woman in this moment in America. To do this, both open and closed forms have been put to use, along with found poetry and collage.


This thesis is restricted to USM access only.