Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




This thesis is a poetry collection entitled Hanging by the Fingers, and is inspired by the moment in film when “a character is holding onto a ledge or rope by his or her fingers. One by one, each finger loses its grip” (“Hanging by the Fingers”). My collection centers on the complexity of relationships—familial, romantic, and religious. The speaker also struggles to understand how she relates to herself as a wife, mother, and individual. She feels as if she is often dangling by her fingers, trying desperately to hold on as each finger loses its grip. The themes of feeling lost, afraid or inadequate, and trying to find something just out of reach, are present throughout the collection, even though the form and style of the poems vary greatly.