College of Arts and Sciences


Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing


Heather Paul


Poetry, Memoir, Autobiography, Poetry in Memoir


Arts and Humanities | English Language and Literature


For the critical paper, I explore the use of poetry as a form of memoir. Over the years, I have journaled by writing poetry, and for the purpose of this paper, I have studied the marriage of poetry and memoir. My critical paper research has directed me towards how memoirists (including autobiographers and biographers of the past) have used poetry in their writings and how the truth about the past is verified and enhanced by poetic works. Poetry seems to be a vehicle of preserving truth, thus proving the veracity of the emotions and experiences within a historical context. Since poetry serves as both an ancient and modern medium for memories, its value should be more thoroughly explored. Poetry as memoir, or poetry presented within a historical narrative, not only preserves the emotional integrity of the persons involved, but also preserves the integrity of the surrounding culture, and the integrity of the historical details as well. My creative manuscript is blend of poetry and prose, capturing the heart and history of my life as a church-planter’s wife from 2012-2014 in Salt Lake City, Utah. In August 2022, we celebrate our ten-year anniversary at Gospel Grace Church, and I desire to commemorate the milestone by compiling a collection of poems, scenes, and stories, focusing on the early years of our ministry. My purpose for writing is to present truth in a beautiful way, pointing people towards Christ, who is the perfect embodiment of beauty and truth.