Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. William Olsen

Second Advisor

Dr. Jon Adams

Third Advisor

Dr. Thomas Kostezwa

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Elizabeth Bradburn


Ecopoetics, midwest poets, poetry, family poetry


NO SECRETS is a book about the contemporary American family. “Oh no, not another sentimental confessional,” you might say. NO SECRETS is not a singular text. Is it a book about my family? Well, sort of… NO SECRETS is a text that explores the moments in past present and future where the lyric “I” is a product of many voices and many histories. Part persona, part dramatic monologue, part witness, these poems create their own family narrative and their own truth through formal constraint, and lyric expanse. When NO SECRETS began, I thought the poems were my family story. However, when I went to put them together, the speakers of the poems thought otherwise. As Louise Gluck says in the opening poem of A Village Life, “Twilight,” : “I open my fingers--/I let everything go.//Visual world, language,/rustling of leaves in the night, smell of high grass, of woodsmoke…I let it go, then I light the candle” (23-28). NO SECRETS is a book about the contemporary American family, their joys and sorrows, a space where there are no rules and no secrets.


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