Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)


English/Creative Writing

First Advisor

Jill McDonough

Second Advisor

Lloyd Schwartz

Third Advisor

Joyce Peseroff


A collection of poetry that explores mortality, witness, female sexuality, gender expectations, single motherhood, coercive adoption practices during the 1950s, and the grief of losing a loved one through imagination and research. While traversing the conditions of post-WWII America, these poems draw inspiration from one woman--Jayne, a strikingly independent widow who owned a farm stand in Columbia, CT. The central speaker seeks to understand the trauma that Jayne (and thousands of other unwed mothers who involuntarily gave children up for adoption) experienced, while also dissecting restraints that women face in contemporary American culture.


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