Date of Award

January 2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Sharon Carson


A Wintered Mind is a collection of poems that explores the space and place of North Dakota through the eyes of an outsider. Having moved to North Dakota from Southern California, the author’s experience is initially one of disorientation and displacement, but through meditative engagement with the landscape and working to understand his place in it, the author finds a place rich in austere beauty. The speaker of these poems turns often to the language of Zen Buddhism, using the North Dakotan landscape as a lens to explore inner geographies. In turn, these inner geographies implicate the reader in their inward movement, generating ontological and epistemological questions that propel these poems in and out of physical space. The title of this dissertation, A Wintered Mind, suggests that ultimately the speaker—and by extension the author—is inextricably changed by his time here. The introduction to these poems works to ground them in both the author’s personal experience and a Heideggerian framework that investigates the poem’s propensity to appear spontaneously, and in doing so, tell the truth.