Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing



First Reader/Committee Chair

Paegle, Julie


Tiny House. Tell Me a Secret. is a poetry manuscript that deals with establishing identity based on the relationships one is involved in, the loss of someone significant, and then coping with that loss. In the book, the speaker who grows up in the care of women becomes sensitive to their pains and questions the necessity of the overt ideas of machismo in his culture and deliberately cultivates chivalry in his romantic relationship as a result. The speaker loses his wife early in their marriage and must cope with her death while continuing to re-learn/establish the identity that she played such a large part in shaping. The poems attempt to clarify identity and heighten poetic energy in the poetic forms of free verse and prose poetry. I hope my collection embodies multiple representations of manhood as macho, tender, and everything in between. The collection attempts a complex identification with multiple types of identities. For me, the reality of identities is in their fluidity. The speakers of my poems ultimately find themselves at ease in their roles and in their understanding of others’ roles and lives beyond their own. My speakers do not yearn to just be one identity, however fully. Instead, each man can easily exist in the world as both an adult and still very much the child of his father; the lover of grand romantic gestures and still the loner of deep self-intimacy. While the collection as a whole destabilizes accepted notions of patriarchy, it also, I hope, provides a stable level at which we can understand the speaker of the entire manuscript.

Included in

Poetry Commons