Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts




Creative Writing (MFA)

First Advisor/Chairperson

Matthew Gavin Frank


This collection of nonfiction lyrical essays is concerned with embodied grief. Looking closely at my mother’s cancer through an interrogation of her medical records, her bodily scans, and my own memories of her final months, these essays explore the way cancer manifests in the body; the way it presents outwardly and the ways in which it refuses to be known. This is a collection of true things but also of speculation; of unknowability. How does a tick experience her world? What can a mouse in a wall tell me about cancerous cell growth? What role do dreams play in remembering? How does the night sky connect humans to non-human animals and them both to the earth? Driven by my fierce desire to know, these essays engage deeply and creatively with research, narrative, and place in an effort to make meaning and forge connections between grief, loss, and what we leave behind.

Access Type

NMU Users Only