The vast majority of theses in this collection are open access and freely available. There are a small number of theses that have access restricted to the WWU campus. For off-campus access to a thesis labeled "Campus Only Access," please log in here with your WWU universal ID, or talk to your librarian about requesting the restricted thesis through interlibrary loan.

Date Permissions Signed


Date of Award

Spring 2021

Document Type

Masters Thesis (Campus-Only Access)

Department or Program Affiliation

English - MFA Creative Writing

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)



First Advisor

Miller, Brenda, 1959-

Second Advisor

Beasley, Bruce, 1958-

Third Advisor

Metzger, Mary Janell


How do we interact with forces that both terrify and fascinate us? Between Fight and Flight, a collection of lyric creative nonfiction essays and poems, explores personal experiences of phobias and audacities. Personal phobias situate themselves within the context of larger events that have shaped 2020-21. More significantly, these pieces attempt to articulate the almost imperceptible shift between fearing something and finding beauty within it. The essays and poems come into conversation with each other about the way these fears can plant the seeds for even the smallest acts of boldness.

My writing centers on themes of family and the natural world, often interrogating collisions between the two. Several pieces focus on my relationship with my mother, my first and strongest teacher of natural landscapes in the Pacific Northwest. She became an essential collaborator during this project, contributing interviews and original art to complement several of the written pieces. The illustrations found within this manuscript are hers.




creative nonfiction, poetry, lyric essay, nature, phobia, audacity, family


Western Washington University

OCLC Number


Subject – LCSH

Creative nonfiction; Lyric poetry; Families in literature; Nature in literature




masters theses




Copying of this document in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this document for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author’s written permission.

(You must be on campus or login via ezproxy to view)