Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)


English/Creative Writing

First Advisor

Askold Melnyczuk

Second Advisor

Daphne Kalotay

Third Advisor

Eve Sorum


Cloak Island is a novella in progress. Those familiar with the Champlain Valley in Vermont may know that Cloak Island is a real place, a tiny island in Lake Champlain. The events and characters in this story, however, are fictionalized. This story does not belong to any single character alone; instead, it is an examination of how a family comprehends loss. Each character has her own way of finding meaning in absence, and the conclusion of the story reveals that, at least in the world of this particular story, the lost and the living are more linked than previously imagined. While this story was not always haunted by ghosts, one appeared naturally along the way, around the fourth of fifth revision. Strangely, it felt as if he had been part of the story all along.

Joseph A. Citro’s book Green Mountains, Dark Tales (UPNE, 2001) was very useful for my research regarding the origins of Cloak Island’s name.

In Chapter 7, I reference the final line from a beautiful poem by Kazim Ali titled “Departure.” The final line reads: “Carry what you can in your hands. Scatter the rest.”


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