Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)



First Advisor

Ruth Ellen Kocher

Second Advisor

Eric White

Third Advisor

Marcia Douglas


The progression of poetry within Folkspeak is first and foremost a deliberate attempt at defining the construction of self in the midst of the invading influence of place, family, loss, and--even more so--intimacy. It is the aim of the text to create dialogue between traditional narrative poetics and the presence of the disruptive or experimental. Concerns of form, voice, and image coalesce to create a work that follows from the legacy of poets Frank Stanford and C.D. Wright, ultimately presenting itself as a text rooted in hybrid lyricism and wholly engaged with the complications arising from the mythos of Southern identity. Furthermore, as the collection traverses the experience of a malleable, expressive I changing and developing among the harsh rural landscape, the framing device of relationship (specifically, love lost and love found) provides the reader with the necessary affirmation that through tragedy there remains the desire, at least, to want intimate connection outside of self.