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College of Arts & Sciences
Department of English Language and Literature


English MFA candidate Amanda Dutton receives Dean’s MFA Fellowship!

Amanda Dutton, a third-year graduate student in the MFA program, has won a Dean’s MFA fellowship.

Amanda's thesis explores how one becomes split between maidenhood and marriage, where "tying the knot" is reimagined in the act of stringing a deer in the trees before the hunter slices it open. These poems, set in the Appalachian wilderness, meditate on the complex relationship between predator and prey while also questioning oppressive messages from the patriarchy of the Mormon Church, of which Amanda was a member for 5 years. The speaker of this work acts as haruspex (Latin for "soothsayer by means of entrails"), reaching inside the split body of her past for a sign to escape a life she has become lost inside.

Amanda grew up in Roanoke, Virginia and studied English and Creative Writing at Hollins University. Her work has recently appeared in Tupelo Quarterly, The Journal, and Classical Outlook, among others.