Document Type



Master of Fine Arts (MFA)


Creative Writing

First Advisor's Name

Denise Duhamel

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Richard P. Sugg

Third Advisor's Name

Campbell McGrath

Date of Defense



CHORDS is a collection of diverse lyric and narrative poems. The book is primarily composed of free verse in the colloquial tradition of James Wright. CHORDS employs the Romantic device of a strong narrative "I," and utilizes four thematic sections, each named after a specific musical chord, which correspond to four periods in the narrator's life.

Section one, "Suspended," follows the young narrator through a tumultuous childhood, underscored by family loss and the disruption of a move from Miami to rural Kentucky; section two, "Diminished," details his adolescence and young adulthood, a period of rebellion and confusion; section three, "Augmented," finds the adult narrator contemplating several life-changing events-marriage, the break-up of his rock and roll band, and the dedication of his life to Christ; finally, in "Resolved," the narrator comes to accept the complexities of his life, and to build, from its dissonant notes, a final chord of resolution.



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