Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts




Creative Writing (MFA)

First Advisor/Chairperson

Patricia Killelea


“Lies I’ve Told Myself” is a collection of essays that interrogate ideas of trauma, identity and memory. What happens when a middle-aged, Black woman leaves her frenetic job and slows down enough to hear the messages that she’s been too busy to notice? “Lies I’ve Told Myself” "explores and illuminates the messiness that ensues when one challenges long-held ways of viewing the world and one’s place in it. “Lies” in the title refers to the narratives created to serve the self and the collection ponders the impact of this behavior. Through interiority, readers are brought into the personal struggles of the author as she wrestles with these concepts and considers how each has and should define her. These essays are in dialogue with memoirists, cultural commentators and the essay form itself. Through careful reflection and brutal honesty, these essays and selected poems document and celebrate the process that leads to life-changing epiphanies. One through-line is how vulnerability leads to meaningful connection with others. So what happens in the end? The author finds her humanity.

Access Type

Open Access

Justification for Restricting Access

This is a creative work and I plan to seek publication of some of the essays contained herein post graduation. Any literary magazine or publishing house would consider a manuscript freely available on the internet as "previously published."

Available for download on Wednesday, March 31, 2027

Included in

Nonfiction Commons