Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)


English/Creative Writing

First Advisor

Joyce Peseroff

Second Advisor

Jill McDonough

Third Advisor

Nadia Nurhussein


Many of these poems explore the complications of defining and constructing black female identity. These poems also seek to tackle the complicated body of the world that we in. The main speaker of this collection finds herself on a journey to create her own origin story and selfhood, while attempting to cope with the unknown history of her biological mother. The main speaker in this collection attempts to collect her own story, while exploring the many ways that the black body is mishandled and mistranslated in a society steeped in racist and sexist systems that have kept the stories and experiences of women in the margins of history. Many of the narratives behind these poems tackle the complications of gender and race. Other poems deal with the sense of selfhood that gets lost in the pursuit of love and relationships. The whole body of this collection reflects the value of achieving selfhood and voice. The main speaker of this collection works to achieve self-definition, while also claiming a voice that names and defines itself, as well as the social and political power structures that want to keep the black body silent and restricted.


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