Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)


English/Creative Writing

First Advisor

Lloyd Schwartz

Second Advisor

Jill McDonough

Third Advisor

James Parker


Ram is a collection of poems. Among other things, the collection wraps itself around the story of Isaac and Abraham. It speaks of the possibility of being sacrificed by your own father in the name of God. This collection is about being hounded by God. It’s about conviction and imprisonment. I take on the voice of Isaac, Abraham’s son, who climbed Mount Moriah, not knowing how deeply he would be affected by what was to come. In his voice, I imagine how lonely that must feel, such a complicated betrayal. I write as Sarah, Abraham’s wife, who acknowledges her own absence in these sweeping stories about her husband and lineage; I take on Hagar, Abraham’s concubine, abandoned by him in the desert. I write in the voice of Abraham, in defense of himself. And I write as myself, teaching in prison, witnessing the many different parts of a person. Writing in these personae allows the voices to confront each other and connect to each other and call out to each other.


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