Document Type



Master of Fine Arts (MFA)


Creative Writing

First Advisor's Name

Julie Marie Wade

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee chair

Second Advisor's Name

Campbell McGrath

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Third Advisor's Name

Vernon Dickson

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member


art education, arts and humanities, creative writing, curriculum and instruction, education, language and literacy education, poetry

Date of Defense



SOMETHING AMERICAN is a poetry collection written from the perspective of a first-generation American navigating a growing family, a political crisis, and a global pandemic. Influences on this collection include Robert Hass’s THE ESSENTIAL HAIKU and FIELD GUIDE, which attend to nature and the poet-speaker’s immediate surroundings with diligence and precision. Ariel Francisco’s place poems and creative titles in ALL MY HEROES ARE BROKE provide important touchstones for Souto’s commitment to here-and-now writing. And Sylvia Plath’s frank and complex writing about motherhood in ARIEL grants the poet permission to probe these subjects as well.

In SOMETHING AMERICAN, experimental poems sprawl across the page or juxtapose traditional forms with postmodern content, while more traditional poems are grounded in image and narrative and signal their appearance with left margin alignment. Throughout this collection, the poet-speaker confronts and examines the tensions between her personal identity and cultural traditions, resulting in a resonant, zeitgeist mosaic.





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Rights Statement

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