Publication Date


Type of Culminating Activity


Degree Title

Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing



Major Advisor

Martin Corless-Smith, Ph.D.


The poems within There Is No Such Word As Can trouble themselves with the seemingly impossible task of interacting with a generational incapacity for conviction, or any sort of variable of truth outside of the traditional means of understanding. How does one align oneself with any sort of truth without dogma, for instance? How does one choose from the infinite possibilities provided to generations raised under the shadow of deconstruction?

The answer may come in the form of reimagining what an answer could actually be. The poems presented in this collection eschew any sort of conviction by undercutting themselves so consistently that their questions inevitably become their own kind of answer. This is a work in ambivalence. This is a work in “fence-sitting.” The poems seem to interact with the history of their creation within the procedural space of their own becoming. A variety of rural vernacular is often times juxtaposed with academic, theoretical-based language, for instance, as a way to explore what is understood and what is misunderstood. The conclusion these poems seem to come to is that these two terms are often interchangeable. Where you sit depends on where you stand.

Often times, these poems address realities that they themselves have created, where time, space, communication, and understanding are altered in an attempt to establish a new sort of perspective. The inevitable failure and shortcomings within this collection, then, are the product of the poems own becoming, their own reality. The failure to comprehend one’s own identity, to fix oneself to any sort of truth, therefore, happens within the poems’ reality—a failed experiment to skew the real to possibly see the real as it actually could be.

There Is No Such Word As Can articulates the answers that a lot of people outside of the author’s own generation may not have the stomach to swallow. That is, sometimes not knowing is actually more worthwhile than actually knowing. And that the difference between the two is something that is worth considering. At least here in these poems, anyway.