Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Nancy Eimers

Second Advisor

Dr. Elizabeth Bradburn

Third Advisor

Dr. Cynthia Hogue

Fourth Advisor

Dr. William Olsen




This dissertation, Reassurance in Negative Space, is a poetry manuscript that deals with intersections of grief, gender, environment, and art in contemporary society. One of its guiding properties is an interest in the ekphrastic mode of composition: poetry in response to a work of visual art. American Hybrid poet-editor Cole Swensen discusses what has emerged as a new “hybrid” poetry that combines conventional approaches with more experimental forms; a stable first person narrator with fragmentation or juxtaposition, for example: “Hybrid poems often honor the avant-garde mandate to renew the forms and expand the boundaries of poetry—thereby increasing the expressive potential of language itself—while also remaining committed to the emotional spectra of lived experience.” This dissertation takes on that aesthetic and mandate, using the hybrid poem to combine traditional themes with modern perspectives.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Campus Only

Restricted to Campus until

June 2024