The Youngest


Trezlen Drake

Date of Award

Spring 2020

Document Type

Open Access Thesis



First Advisor

Liz Countryman


This thesis is a collection of poems that considers life in a southern Black family, memory, nostalgia, dysfunction, race and gender, and generational trauma. These poems are influenced by poetry, fiction, music, popular culture, and scholarship, each providing a different perspective on life and language to talk about that which can sometimes be unspeakable.

A recurring character in this collection is the girlchild, reminiscent of Marge Piercy’s character in “Barbie Doll.” The girlchild here is the figure of the woman or girl who experiences trauma, and what some consider to be unspeakable.

These poems are also an exploration and disruption of how mothers and motherhood are viewed in society and within the Black community, which is a theme that I hope to emphasize in future revisions and versions of the poems contained herein.

Available for download on Sunday, May 08, 2022