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Date Permissions Signed


Date of Award

Spring 2017

Document Type

Masters Thesis (Campus-Only Access)

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)



First Advisor

Beasley, Bruce, 1958-

Second Advisor

Kahakauwila, Kristiana

Third Advisor

Lundeen, Kathleen, 1951-


The formally-experimental poems in this collection explore the psychic spaces of female characters from Shakespeare’s plays. The collection includes self-portraits that grapple with women’s roles as depicted by Shakespeare and woman’s roles in Mormon culture, both heavily influenced by patriarchal structures that often silence or suppress marginalized voices. In the first section, the poet draws heavily from her own lived experience and Shakespeare’s The Tempest, Measure for Measure, and The Merchant of Venice in order to depict youthful innocence, dependency on the patriarchal structures in which she was raised, and her eventual faith crisis and separation from Mormonism. The second section focuses on The Winter’s Tale, meditating on the early loss of the mother and later reunion. The third section explores issues of gender fluidity and marriage inspired by character dynamics in Twelfth Night and The Merchant of Venice. The fourth section focuses on Macbeth and transgressive women who are often demonized for their power and ambition. The fifth section centers on A Midsummer Night’s Dream in order to explore creativity, regeneration, rebirth, posterity, and dream. Important influences for this collection include Carol Ann Duffy, Jorie Graham, Lucie Brock-Broido, Carole Maso, Terry Tempest Williams, Carol Lynn Pearson, May Swenson, and Susan Elizabeth Howe. The poet wrestles with received narratives of self, of femaleness and gender, and of Shakespeare.





Western Washington University

OCLC Number


Subjects – Names (LCNAF)

Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616--Characters--Women--Poetry

Subject – LCSH

Identity (Psychology)--Poetry; Morman women--Poetry; Experimental poetry, American




masters theses




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