Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts



First Advisor

Debra Marquart


How We Were Not Sparrows is collection of numbered pieces that create lyrics essays on topics related to girlhood, womanhood and the expectations heaped upon the idea of both. My goal was to create a collection of pieces which when placed against or toward one another make something larger and also create surprising connections. I like to think about the finished work like an Advent calendar with miniature boxes that open to reveal a tiny picture of a mouse or a chocolate, full of bits that keep unfolding to expose another layer. Each essay includes a variety of perspectives interspersed to add texture to what is largely a personal and at times confessional book. The voice of "the world" or authority is present to bring the reader out of the too-close world of the writer into a larger cultural space. The world has a lot to say about who and what and where girls can be, the spaces they can hope to fill. Including these epigraphs is an attempt to create the same kind of jumble of voices in which girlhood is navigated.

Copyright Owner

Sara Marie Richardson Perez



Date Available


File Format


File Size

103 pages