Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. William Olsen

Second Advisor

Dr. Nancy Eimers

Third Advisor

Dr. Christopher Nagle

Fourth Advisor

Dr. David Kutzko


This collection of thirty-one poems is built around my personal search for place, the idea of "home," and how it is relationship more than mere geography that defines the places one encounters in a life. In these poems, that idea of "home" ties back to intimate relationships with family and friends, but also with relationships involving culture—both historical and popular—as a whole.

The collection itself is a pastiche of strategies and stylizations, united by a defined and consistent voice. The geographic locations vary—from Las Vegas (where the largest number of poems and energy are focused) to stops in points across the country. In these poems, the West represents the idea that promise and possibility can still exist even amidst a landscape that has been almost drained by those previous on the same quest for promise. These are poems specifically inspired by a variety of writers, including Frank Bidart ("Thanksgiving") and Ted Hughes ("A Few Years Ago in the City"), but the willingness to place the writer vulnerable on the page was encouraged through diligent study of Robert Lowell. The search for place begins with an understanding of place and these poems provide insight into the quest for understanding one's place in the world.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access

Included in

Poetry Commons