Date of Award

Spring 1999

Document Type



Languages & Literature

First Advisor

Kay Satre

Second Advisor

Lorna Milne

Third Advisor

Murphy Fox


We write to communicate, to create relationships. Telling our stories helps us connect with others. We write to give meaning to life’s processes. As the writer searches, struggles to express her thoughts, she may help the reader through his own personal meaning-making. Writers often say they write to find out what they believe; reading can yield similar results. Comparing and contrasting the writer’s experience to our own lives helps us gain a better understanding of ourselves. I hope to provide readers with such an opportunity; I hope ‘The Dad Cycle” speaks to experiences we all share. In this piece, I have combined memoir, confessional poetry, and personal essay to tell the story of life with my father, coping with his death, and learning to live again. I use memoir to relate my past experiences, confessional poetry to convey the weight of emotion, and personal essay to introduce expository materials, connecting my story with the writings and philosophies of others.