Matriarch : a collection of poems exploring the theme of healing trauma through spoken word poetry

Date of Award




Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Department of English

Content Description

1 online resource (ii, 57 pages)

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Michael Leong


slam poetry, spoken word, trauma, trauma studies, Spoken word poetry, American, Psychic trauma, Psychological abuse, Loss (Psychology), American poetry

Subject Categories

English Language and Literature


Matriarch is a body of work that explores healing trauma through the use of spoken word poetry. Spoken word poetry is typically regarded as a very personal, cathartic art form because of the performance aspect. Each chapter focuses on a different traumatic concept or a method of healing. The first chapter, “In the Mourning”, contains poems about young death. The next chapter, “Don’t Tell Me to Smile”, focuses on abusive and manipulative relationships. The third chapter, “Matriarch”, is about the importance of female relationships in the face of adversity. The last chapter, “Queer Cantos”, works through the complexities of identifying as a member of the LGBT community. The goal of this collection of poems is to express the difficulties of working through hardship and attempting to find a positive side of overcoming trauma.

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