Gravel music

Document Type



Master of Fine Arts (MFA)


Creative Writing

First Advisor's Name

Campbell McGrath

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Ana Luszczyna

Third Advisor's Name

Denise Duhamel

Date of Defense



Gravel Music is a collection of poems, encompassing a wide range of styles from free verse to sonnets, including several unique forms, using rhyme where it was deemed pertinent, but also operating in a deconstructive mode where prosody is concerned. The book is divided into three sections. Poems in the first section strive toward political and critical utterance, addressing Marxism, Darwinism, neo-pragmatism, and humanism in a sequence of interrogations of the barriers between aesthetics, politics, critical theory, and philosophy, hoping to find traces of truth, fact, and authenticity that transcend category. The second section is comprised of a single lyrical narrative which follows a married couple as they interact on their small farm in late Autumn, addressing themes of literacy, love, and domesticity. The third section continues the focus on domestic life, but also addresses themes of nostalgia for childhood and lost love. The poems of this section move away from the formal, socio-political outbursts of the first section, instead operating primarily through persona and voice, bringing the book to a quiet, personal close.



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