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

Campbell McGrath

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Third Advisor's Name

Dr. Vernon Dickson

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member


free verse, 21st century lingo, poetry, pop culture, familial relationships

Date of Defense



GIRL WITH BROKEN CAR SINGS is a full-length collection of free verse poems that explore an obsession with celebrity status, culture, and power; the speaker longs for and imagines new lives for herself, all the while examining the wickedness of American commercialism and capitalism through a reality TV lens.

Pop culture is also used as a vehicle to discuss familial trauma. The gaps in the speaker’s life are filled with mainstream media references. GIRL WITH BROKEN CAR SINGS considers how people engage with media to understand or “see” themselves in the world.

While there are no sections in GIRL WITH BROKEN CAR SINGS, the poems at the beginning mirror the poems at the end, leading readers to the middle poem: “4th Grade Reflections Awards, South Allegheny Elementary School, 2005.” The ordering of the poems makes space for imaginative leaps—movement between the real and surreal.



Included in

Poetry Commons



Rights Statement

Rights Statement

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