Thesis Title

Divining the Silhouette (poetry)

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Graduation Year


Writing Track

Narrative/Poetic Medicine


Master of Fine Arts


Creative Writing

Program Director

Judy Halebsky, PhD

First Reader

Joan Baranow, PhD

Second Reader

Judy Halebsky, PhD


Divining the Silhouette is a collection of poetry that examines relationships and interactions with the world in the context of living with a disability and in a disabled body. In many ways, the collection is a conversation between the author’s younger self and present self, as well as an acknowledgement of all the relationships and connections, environments and influences, essential to her becoming. The poems within the collection serve as a teaching tool, offering a model—one model—of how able-bodied people may interact more effectively with disabled people, offering glimpses of what works and what doesn’t, of what to do and what not to do, and how, if we let them, these relationships can be affirming for both sides. The collection is both self-apology and invitation for others to see an internal life more relatable than perceived at first glance. The body of work is organized into four sections (Outlines, Shadows, Shapes, Body) and includes a variety of poems including, but not limited to, lineated poems, erasure poems, 100 words stories, and prose poems.

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