Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)


Creative Writing

First Advisor

Dr. Emmy Pérez

Second Advisor

Dr. Marci McMahon

Third Advisor

Dr. José Rodriguez


This is a collection of poetry that depicts the struggles of family separation, to the street and drug life, to the questioning of faith and religion, to the revelation that education was the only means of escape. Set in the Rio Grande Valley, this collection allows the reader to travel though the rough streets of South Texas where anger, pain, and joy coincide. Embedded in a Tex-Mex voice, I take you through my experiences that allowed me to see that there was no future for me in the streets and that I would rather be institutionalized by universities, rather than prisons.


Copyright 2016 Gabriel Leal. All Rights Reserved.