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Thesis Defence: 53rd & 3rd

April 17 at 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Tom Leveen will defend their thesis.

Tom Leveen, supervised by Professor Michael V. Smith, will defend their thesis titled “53rd & 3rd” in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing.

An abstract for Tom Leveen’s thesis is included below.

Defences are open to all members of the campus community as well as the general public. This defence will be offered in hybrid format.  Registration is not required to attend in person. Please email Michael.V.Smith@ubc.ca to receive the Zoom link for this defence.


53rd & 3rd is a contemporary young adult novel taking place a year after a school shooting in the U.S.

A group of misfit high school students who gather on a city street corner every weekend discover their own biases against a popular student who shows up to become part of the group. The novel cycles through multiple points of view over the course of one night, during which friends are made and lost, hearts are broken and healed, and trauma confronted. The action centers on interactions among a small group of friends within the larger cohort, with shorter asides, scenes, and side plots enhancing or underscoring the larger conflicts playing out on “the Corner.”

53rd & 3rd examines themes of found or chosen family and interrogates the idea of Place in the sprawling metropolitan area of Phoenix, Arizona. By introducing and following a wide variety of characters the novel permits the reader a broad window through which to view opposing viewpoints and lived experiences unique to each personality, allowing for identification and friction alike between readers and characters. A mixture of first- and third-person perspectives invites a critical study of the difference between distant versus intimate knowledge of the characters.


April 17
1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
3272 University Way
Kelowna, BC V1V 1V7 Canada

Additional Info

Room Number
Registration/RSVP Required
Yes (see event description)
Event Type
Thesis Defence
Arts and Humanities, Research and Innovation
Alumni, Community, Faculty, Staff, Families, Partners and Industry, Students, Postdoctoral Fellows and Research Associates