Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts




Creative Writing (MFA)

First Advisor/Chairperson

Dr. Rachel May


My thesis is a collection of fiction and creative nonfiction works that explore the theme of grief—how it manifests, how it informs identity, and the relationships that can emerge therefrom. In this thesis, I use fiction as a medium through which to investigate how grief affects people of various ages and backgrounds. As with all fictional characters, mine are to an extent reflections of my own experiences with trauma and loss, but they also serve as a vessel to explore the differing ways grief presents itself with changes in place, historical setting, and the type of loss witnessed. The personal essays included in this thesis center around the death of my mom, and are my attempts to situate my own grief in a context larger than my immediate reality. Even in experiences that are deeply personal, there are always connections that can be drawn to the wider world—links that can be made between the intimate and universal. Whether it be by addressing a stranger, contemplating the nature of remembrance and legacy, or paralleling my story to those of figures like Auguste Piccard and Laika the Soviet space dog, these essays try to uncover such links.

Access Type

NMU Users Only

Justification for Restricting Access

I am hoping to submit various pieces in my thesis for publication to literary magazines, most of which don't accept work that's been previously published. Temporary restriction would give my work a greater chance of being accepted.

Available for download on Monday, March 30, 2099