Semester of Graduation

May 2021


Master of Fine Arts (MFA)



Document Type



This is a hybrid memoir about the life of a woman who is a survivor of sexual assault and has bipolar disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder, who spends her time arranging her things just so, who thinks of her home as a cage, a collection of corners. The book is broken into two sections. The first half lays the groundwork of “what’s the matter” with the speaker, and the second half wraps up the anecdotes and research of the first with a flurry of prose poems; both sections utilize an array of genre techniques to create a memoir that is as explorative as its speaker. CAGE is influenced by archival sources such as Good Housekeeping and more modern works of architectural theory and memory-related pseudoscience. The more one reads, the more one comes to know how the speaker relates to these seemingly disparate sources, herself, her family, and other survivors of abuse, self-inflicted and otherwise. Some pages lean more heavily into disoriented syntax than others, and the purpose of this is to mimic my own thought patterns as closely as possible, especially during manic episodes, but strike a balance between disorientation and clarity, poetry and nonfiction.

Committee Chair

Mullen, Laura



Available for download on Saturday, February 26, 2028