Date of Award
Master of Fine Arts
Creative Writing and Environment
Kenny L. Cook
Shrike, a partial novel written in the MFA Program in Creative Writing and the Environment at Iowa State University, depicts the unexpected transformation of a young man into a seventy-pound bird resembling a Loggerhead Shrike in appearance and behavior. The book focuses on the reality of coming of age as a naturalist and a millennial, in a time when the human race has in practice divorced itself from the plight of the planet which sustains it and has come instead to occupy a reality largely defined by human-centered values and concepts, which deny most non-human entities intellect or agency, and ignore the fundamental importance of wildness for human mental health and continuity. Shrike examines one version what might happen if the wildness the human species has sought to eradicate and control began to emerge from within humans in inexplicable ways, as it does in the protagonist of the novel, Downy Stone.
Bruen-Morningstar, Iza, "Shrike: A novel excerpt" (2019). Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 17150.
Available for download on Monday, April 19, 2021