Date of Award

January 2019

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

Third Advisor

Nancy Jensen

Department Affiliation

English and Theatre


MOUSE is a story told through poems, a narrative arc spanning the 30-some years of the speaker’s life, starting with his earliest memories of masculine representation, and progressing through his experiences with the various men in his life. The speaker in these poems is sensitive and thoughtful, introspective even as his attention is focused on the world around him. As he comes to know himself, his struggles with sexuality and relationships are manifested in the natural world. There is a depression, a longing for connection throughout these poems that threatens to crush the speaker. In the penultimate piece in the collection, there is a rumination on the seeming inevitability of suicide, followed by the titular poem, which explores the idea that perhaps one can find meaning in unexpected place.

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