Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing



First Reader/Committee Chair

Delgado, Juan


In a society focused on the individual, how is community formed? As individuals predisposed to the built-in barrier of our body, our skin, how do we mediate between the self and the external? During this mediation on the barriers between our body, ourselves, and the outside world, how is consciousness simultaneously conflicted and built upon? What does it mean to be alive, to be a complex individual surrounded by a multitude of complex individuals? Can we, as a society, learn to focus balance the community and the individual? ONLY WE CAN PULL attempts to answer these questions through a series of first-person singular “I” poems, first-person plural “we” poems, and a range of second- and third-person poems interspersed throughout. The poems in this collection show language as a transformative force, able to shape consciousness, depending on the lens and distance through which one views a person, experience, or moment. In the hopes, ONLY WE CAN PULL is a sample-sized collage foregrounding the multiple, fragile paths that lead to the deceptively simple four-letter word “life.”

Included in

Poetry Commons