Date of Award


Degree Type

Creative Project

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



Committee Chair(s)

Benjamin Gunsberg (commitee chair)


Benjamin Gunsberg


Christine Cooper Rompato


Michael Sowder


This thesis forms the foundation for a poetry chapbook infused with Norse mythology and pain. It builds itself on two distinct strands. In the first, I reclaim the story of Hel, goddess of death, and attempt to humanize a figure historically branded as monstrous. Her life forms a narrative line through the collection that attempts to capture the whimsy and horror in myth. Intertwined with the goddess are poems centered around a contemporary speaker who suffers from chronic migraine, an autoimmune disease, unexplained tachycardia, and OCD. The poems in this personal strand vary heavily in both form and content but work to target the emotional core of chronic illness and pain. As Hel is known to be half corpse, it is shared suffering that bridges both women across time. Through this chapbook, I hope to be able to represent the pain inherent in life, but also the life we claim despite it.

Included in

Poetry Commons