Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name


Organizational Unit

College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences, English and Literary Arts

First Advisor

Eleni Sikelianos


Creative writing, Poetry


(In)Visible, a dissertation, is comprised of a critical essay, A Poetics of the (In)Visible, and a book of poetry, The Maybe-Bird. A Poetics of the (In)Visible explores how poetry can generate and enact a distinct form of seeing—the seeing of the (in)visible. The essay claims that poetry can enact this paradox of vision because it is liminal by nature; furthermore, while poetry is a language that uses limiting materials (words), it can uniquely generate the experience of the limitless. A range of poets and philosophers are discussed who have addressed various elements of this paradox in their work, including Joy Harjo, Rainer Maria Rilke, Paul Celan, Maurice Blanchot, Giorgio Agamben, Fanny Howe, Adonis, Barbara Guest, H.D., and others. The essay engages poetry as a means of spiraling around the invisible, limitless center, and proposes, as a poetic device that enables this spiraling, the (In)Visible Image, and the palimpsestic, polyvocal sequence as a form that can carry the formless. The essay introduces my book of poems, entitled The Maybe-Bird, as a demonstration of this poetic. The poems of The Maybe-Bird encounter my internal, invisible homeland in language. I sought to create a polyvocal spiral that is a portal into and out of the (in)visible center. The work also experiments with form and source material to explore and expose areas of invisibility in landscape and history. I focus specifically on Muskogean origins in the American Southeast, tracing the emergence and submersion ((dis)appearances) of Mvskoke language and cultural forms throughout time, personal history, and national space.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. This work may only be accessed by members of the University of Denver community. The work is provided by permission of the author for individual research purposes only and may not be further copied or distributed. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Jennifer Elise Foerster


Received from author

File Format




File Size

199 pgs


Creative writing