Hannah Morgan

Date of Award

Spring 5-8-2017

Document Type

Honors Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


English, Linguistics, and Communication

First Advisor

Bylenok, Laura

Major or Concentration

English (Creative Writing Concentration)


Nature versus nurture? Both principles recognize a facet of inheritance that dictates the development of personhood: there is genetic inheritance and there is acquired inheritance. I have used poetry to grapple with the narrative of my late sister and how her death became an acquired inheritance. Meaningful as it was to write through grief, I came to resent how her body -- the color of her hair, the tattoos -- became incessant images in my poems, like a default. I doubted whether I could write without her, my inescapable inheritance. This project explores the inheritance of bodies and faith, and the deaths and resurrections of both. In seeking to resurrect the dormant poetic reflex in me, the project saw the resurrection of old topics of obsession (loss, surgery) and topics currently repressed (faith, aging). The resulting chapbook loosely applies poetic forms to simultaneously study and challenge the restraints of externally imposed inheritance.