English, Department of


Date of this Version

Spring 5-2014


Montgomery, Shea. Leaving Myself Behind. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2014. Print.


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Arts, Major: English, Under the Supervision of Professor Grace Bauer. Lincoln, Nebraska: May, 2014

Copyright (c) 2014 Shea S. Montgomery


This work presents poems detailing different events of my life in an almost chronological order, while at the same time juxtaposing them against the backdrop of a life changing car accident I suffered through when I was 21. The events detailed within the poems reflect moments in my life that occurred either before or after this car accident, and I have arranged them in such a way that I hope will show my own struggles with masculinity while growing up, while at the same time realizing my own mortality by the end.

The poems contained within this work detail my attempts to grow up in a world where the absence of a father marked you as an outsider, and the further struggles of discovering what it means to be male in the absence of a role-model to guide me along that path. The resulting journey leads down many roads, including a frightening and violent stage of hyper-masculinity where I not only come to terms with my own capacity for violence, but seek to make amends for it through my work as a poet.

By the end of the work, I hope a reader has been brought full circle through the physical and spiritual journey that has been my life to this point, and I hope a feeling of resolution and new beginning can be reached by anyone willing enough to follow the poems through to the end.

Advisor: Grace Bauer

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