Tell Me One True Thing

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

Julie Hensley

Department Affiliation

English and Theatre


My poetry collection, Tell Me One True Thing, tracks my development as a poet alongside my changing roles as daughter, mother, wife, and sister, the transformation of which was most profoundly affected by my mother's death from lung cancer in 2013. These poems loosely track the development of my role in the family from relative autonomy to primary support and caregiver--essentially I find I have taken the place of my mother. After her death, I found that I did not know her well. In some sense, these poems attempt to recover lost memories. In the process, my collection explores the many invisible roles women serve in a culture dominated by the economically remunerated roles of men. These roles are often invisible, and they complicate women's connections with place and their ability to achieve success as it is defined by others.

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