Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Nancy Eimers

Second Advisor

Daneen Wardrop, MFA

Third Advisor

Dr. Christopher Nagle

Fourth Advisor

Robert Haight, MFA


Migratory sound, poetry


Migratory Sound is a manuscript of poems that often turns to the natural world as a means of exploring the ways in which place becomes embedded with our narratives, traumas, debts, grief, and song. Throughout, these poems look to patterns of movement amidst both the human and nonhuman, glancing back at generational narratives of immigration from Mexico, to Texas, and up to Michigan for seasonal work in the fields and factory labor. These contrasting locations and divisions of place often appear in the exploration of the edges and intersections of interiority and exteriority, and of the rural and the urban. In its focus on movement and duality, this attention manifests itself in looking to the natural world both directly with precision, as well as indirectly from one’s periphery. Throughout, this collection shows attempts of defining one’s habitat while examining, resisting, and at times embracing the generational patterns which they are inevitably part of. These poems look to enclosed spaces within landscapes and in the domestic sphere, observing what symbols exist and what images and experiences haunt us. In these spaces, the poems echo the pastoral tradition examining what sounds and forms appear within these enclosures, and of what imperfections are outside of these idyllic places. From this vantage point Migratory Sound observes the dehorned cattle, featherless sparrows, and fields that are pulled bare—details which threaten, haunt, yet inevitably shape the forms and images that exist amidst them.

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