Date of Graduation

Spring 2018


Master of Arts in English



Committee Chair

Marcus Cafagna


regionalism, deep image, location, family, supernatural, death, Christianity, American identity

Subject Categories

American Material Culture | Other American Studies | Poetry


The following collection deals largely with autobiographical work. Created primarily between 2007-2018, the following poems reflect the life experiences and reflections of a poet throughout his thirties. Largely tied to regionalism of the Ozarks, many poems in this collection highlight specific locales throughout southwest Missouri and/or northern Arkansas, and explore, thematically, feelings of loneliness, isolation, the struggle of faith, and the impact of displacement, both physical and metaphysical. Further, many of the poems feature a through-line, thematically, involving the bonds of family and the impact of death on relationships and the human psyche. Lastly, an appreciation for, and connection with, nature frames much of the collection. Stylistically, the following poems show influence from the Deep Image style and the New York School, and often highlight a degree of formalism in the vein of Donald Justice. Taken as a whole, it is the intent of the author to present, within Gongshi Meditation on the American Prairie, a tableau of America in the present age, told through autobiographical experience of a searcher, and the America that exists in nature, metaphysics, and the experiences of life long gone and forgotten.


© Brandon A. Henry

Open Access