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Date Permissions Signed


Date of Award

Spring 2020

Document Type

Masters Thesis (Campus-Only Access)

Department or Program Affiliation


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)



First Advisor

Shipley, Ely

Second Advisor

Wong, Jane

Third Advisor

Youmans, Greg, 1977-



My thesis, Language We Fall Through is a multi-genre memoir comprised of poetry, creative non-fiction, and hybrid works. The central themes I explore are at the intersections of inter-generational trauma, migration, class, mental health, and queerness. In many ways, my work engages with a poetics of exile. Poet Don Mee Choi describes poetry as a form of exile, asking, “What is my own exilic space? What does it consist of? How did I get here?” She expounds, “[Exile as in] not just physical distance or political exile [but] linguistic exile, physiological, biological exile, social exile.” Choi’s questions resonated with how my work explores how the landscape of my parent’s exilic space, informed by xenophobia, physical disability, mental health, class, and limited English proficiency converses and overlaps with my exilic space, informed by own migration story, my experience of being transgender person of color in the States, a child of working-class immigrants, and related experiences of grief. Language We Fall Through then refers to both literal languages related to lineage and upbringing as well as the hovering spaces of grief and rupture.




trauma, migration, queerness, memoir, exile, poetry


Western Washington University

OCLC Number


Subject – LCSH

Sexual minorities--United States--Fiction

Geographic Coverage

United States--Emigration and immigration--Fiction




masters theses




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