Date of Award

January 2018

Degree Type

Closed Access Thesis

Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)


English and Theatre

First Advisor

Young Smith

Department Affiliation

English and Theatre

Second Advisor

Carter Sickels

Department Affiliation

English and Theatre

Third Advisor

Nancy Jensen

Department Affiliation

English and Theatre


The Face You Draw into Your Skin is a collection of poems that weave together the tensions between love and conflicting forces, such as grief and wonder, hope and despair, that inhabit the relationships, places and experiences of the poet. The critical introduction chronicles the evolution of this writer's voice in crafting the individual poems and the collection as a body of work, exploring the divergent energies at play, the necessity and anxiety in making the personal public, and the responsibity to do so, that comes with privilege as a writer. The introduction encorporates the poetry and critical guidance provided in the works of Adrienne Rich, Lucille Clifton, Brenda Hillman, Rita Dove, Martin Espada, Juan Felipe Herrera, Khaled Mattawa, Anne Waldman, Alice Walker and Frank X. Walker, Czeslaw Milosz, and Marc Yakich.