Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Thomas Alan Holmes

Committee Members

Kevin O’Donnell, Chelsea Wessels


Contemporary Appalachian poetry offers a lens through which we can see the immense impact that the Tennessee Valley Authority has had in Appalachia. In this thesis, I explore the powerful presence of dams in Appalachian poetry by analyzing three poems. Jesse Graves’s “The Road into the Lake” centers on personal and familial loss, Jackson Wheeler’s “The TVA Built a Dam” mourns the loss of communities, and Rose McLarney’s “Imminent Domain” focuses on the ecological destruction that has occurred in Appalachia and around the globe as the result of the construction of TVA dams. Ultimately, all three poems serve as eulogies of time, land, and lives that have been stolen, offering warnings against further ecological and societal desecration.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.