Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. William Olsen

Second Advisor

Dr. Nancy Eimers

Third Advisor

Dr. Daneen Wardrop

Fourth Advisor

Dr. William A. Sprunk


Why The Moon Is Everyone’s Image, my creative writing dissertation, is based upon the elegy, a form inviting the ghosts of the personal and pastoral, of historical and personal trauma, to appear in order to be restored to the author’s consciousness. These ghosts set up their covenant with us. They desire to shape and influence our identities, attempt to reconstruct ourselves and dream our dreams. To survive, we must quarrel with the selves they present and wish to construct with or without our consent—all within the act of remembrance. The elegy is also a dynamic rhetorical form, reinventing itself by crossing boundaries between the conventions expected with the elegy and through observations of nature. Through this mix of expected elegiac conventions and invited witnessing of nature’s processes, a deflection of desire occurs, leading to transubstantiation; in other words, my poems are transcendental experiences of loss rewritten into hope via nature’s events. Because of this dynamic, these elegies should not be defined as poems reflecting forensic evidence of a lost self, or grief over the world’s unpredictable mutability, but truly they express the process of perception based on association and juxtaposed images, leading to a restorative vision of the world. The process of remembrance makes us human, but not by denying the presence of the natural world.

Access Setting

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