Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing



First Reader/Committee Chair

John Chad Sweeney


The Hibiscus Snake is a collection of poetry investigating the female experience encountering danger. She explores psychic landscapes descended in the unconscious uncanny, the feminine body within the context of horror, and lyrical poems about living in working class communities in San Bernardino. The collection attempts to subvert the presentation of the female body in Horror genres, moving it from a position of victimization to empowerment. In other poems, the speaker ventures into horror-like psychic landscapes filled with images representing the anxiety experienced growing up in a city where danger is quite real. The protagonist risks these journeys to overcome her fear and achieve a transformation. The collection also contains elegies written in lyrical, free-verse form. I also explicate how I employ line breaks to exaggerate the multiplicity of lines, words and connotations. This collection works toward understanding and redefining the female experience and identity within a range of male dominated contexts and dangerous environments.