Date of Award

Spring 2018

Document Type

Thesis Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Chairperson

Kim Bridgford, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Luanne Smith, MFA

Committee Member

Lisa Konigsberg, MA


This manuscript for The Art of Conjuring and its accompanying soundtrack Fragments are a meditation on grief and transient spaces. Following in the footsteps of poets like Donte Collins, Patrick Phillips, and Hanif Abdurraqib, I offer three sections of autobiographical poetry. The subjects and images are centered on the death of my mother in 2011, and the emotional spiral that accompanied it. Throughout, I try to make use of religious imagery, unconventional breaking patterns, references to music, erasure, prose poem form, and the construction of mental space to encapsulate the stages of the grief process.

The Art of Conjuring is a mental catalogue of moments, memories, and loved ones called forth as if waiting to be broken. As such, each section details moments from my life in conversation with the loss experienced later on, as a meditation walking on sore spots. The unconventional sister project to the poems themselves, Fragments, is an attempt to add another dimension to the events recorded in The Art of Conjuring. Inspired by artists like Coheed and Cambria and Aaron West and the Roaring Twenties, the EP is my attempt to represent the mental strain of loss in a format that could supplement a more conventional form. From traditional acoustic songwriter arrangements to a few interwoven soundscape pieces, Fragments experiments with my desire to create a print book with an added soundtrack component.

thesis (16722 kB)