Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy




Starlight Drive is a book-length manuscript of poems that reflects my abiding interest in how poetry can use the fiction writer's tools, such as characterization and setting, without sacrificing the beauty of the lyric. Like Rodney Jones, I write about my north Alabama childhood filtered through the lens of my adult life here in the Midwest. My field of perception does not begin in a cotton field like Jones', but on a cul-de-sac in a middle-class neighborhood of Huntsville, where my father was an engineer for NASA. The poems in my manuscript show my protagonist moving through a landscape peopled by sometimes grotesque, sometimes hypocritical, sometimes tragic characters who are mostly middle-class, white, and "educated." I have tried to spin out of many life-studies the core narratives of a life, the ones that show not only bewilderment and a hunger for the unnamable, but swift glimpses of grace.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access

Included in

Poetry Commons