Thesis Title


Date of Graduation

Spring 2018


Master of Arts in English



Committee Chair

Sara Burge


identity poetics, sexuality, religion, family, conversational language

Subject Categories



This thesis is a collection of poems. Much of my poetry is influenced by ideas of identity, particularly religious and sexual identity, and the ways identity affects relationships. As someone raised in a Catholic church from birth, religion has had a major impact on my life and perspective. I am no longer practicing but still consistently find myself considering the morals of the Church in my actions in a positive way. Catholicism will also always affect my relationship with my mother, who is still practicing. Much of my current poetry concerns my relationship with my mother, especially regarding religion and my sexuality. I came out as bisexual to my family a little over two years ago, when I began dating a woman. The repercussions of that action are still felt and are a frequent topic in my writing, as is the tension caused by my marriage to that same woman. As a result of my experiences, all of these themes (family, religion, and sexuality) are constantly intertwined within my writing.


© Shannon Marie Ashley

Open Access

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