Date of Award

December 2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Kimberly Blaeser

Committee Members

Brenda Cardenas, Michael Wilson, Valerie Laken, Lindsay Timmerman


Anticipatory Grief, Cancer, Ecology, Elegy, Motherhood, Poetry


The poems in this collection, The Waiting House, use techniques associated with an evolving elegiac tradition in their portrayal of anticipatory grief born of terminal illness and impending loss. Like the melancholic mourning of modern elegies described by Jahan Ramazani, my poems often resist consolation even as they borrow from elegiac conventions like poetic substitution and repetition. Additionally, they utilize strategies and patterns of literary anger outlined by Alicia Suskin Ostriker as common in postwar American women’s poetry, to express anger that is also anticipatory grief. Finally, this collection uses illness metaphors to question the well being of a larger body, house, and ecology.

Available for download on Friday, January 04, 2019