Date of Award

Spring 3-2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Chair

Angela Ball

Committee Chair School


Committee Member 2

Adam Clay

Committee Member 2 School


Committee Member 3

Ery Shin

Committee Member 3 School


Committee Member 4

Charles Sumner

Committee Member 4 School



All My Gods Are Dead is a collection of poetry that explores the intersections queerness and religion, family, myth, and home. The poetry is organized into five sections and rotates three forms every three poems: Elegies, Devotions, and Odes. Each form corresponds to a different mode of inquiry related to the queer experience: Elegies for grief and mourning, Devotions for hope and prayer, then Odes for praise and celebration. The organization of content in this manner mimics the experience of emotions in rapid succession that happens in life. Rarely is one emotion present, and as such, the mood and tone of each form shifts as the poetic forms alternate. Interspersed throughout the sections is a lyric essay that continually orients a reader to the voice of the speaker. The lyric essay grounds the poems in a poetic philosophy that builds throughout the collection.

The collection asks many questions of queerness and searches for answers. The title All My Gods Are Dead relates to one key thematic element: the search for queer deities and the broken promise of religion for queer people. Because religion often does not offer safe haven, the speaker examines other places of comfort: familial relationships, architectural spaces, and cultural experiences. By the end of the collection, the speaker’s experience as a queer person comes into focus, defining queerness in poetic exploration rather than concretized terminology, thus truer to the ever-flowing boundaries of the term queer, but also true to the speaker’s personal queerness.

Available for download on Saturday, March 27, 2173