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

Joseph Torra


Looking Into Going Back: A Revision Of Strangers is a poetry collection dedicated to tracking a chronological history, and preserving moments of self and time. This collection examines fragments of the human condition and modern society, attempting to put a single life on display in an effort to cross boundaries and connect outside of one’s own experiences. This exploration maps itself within the world of a graduate creative writing program, and uses the act of writing poems as a place to investigate the performativity of self on the page, and question the conservation of moments that are fleeting, or no longer felt. This collection begins outside the setting of graduate school, one writing in a space that is uninfluenced by academia and the perceptions of others, before its middle interrogates the M.F.A. creative writing workshop experience in particular. This collection aims to display the development and growth of a writer within these spaces, as well as the ins and outs of a mind and life that are ever influenced by a revolving door of people, interest, and circumstance. With this knowledge of life being lived, there is always the acknowledgement of writing being used as a catharsis and tool to echo it, speak to it, celebrate it, and question it. By the collection’s end, the graduate workshop has been completed, and the poet is still a poet – a student, a writer, and a human being – but now must take what they have learned, and navigate how they will continue to archive their past, preserve what they have seen, and carry life into storytelling.


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