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


This dissertation performs and examines feminine desire as a pathway toward spiritual enlightenment (or knowledge of the true Self). The areas of research include écriture feminine (women’s writing), the lyric poem, as well as psychological and spiritual theories of self-actualization. The main topics include: desire, beauty, fecundity, and limitlessness. I approach these topics through my poetic examination of the natural world, placing emphasis on pollinators, birds, plants, light, the atomic world, and men; I also work with the aforementioned topics in form by examining artworks, mechanics, anatomies, gestation, and topologies—performing them energetically on the page in space and time. This project emerges a unique, lyric voice that resonates in both conscious and unconscious spaces of femininity, and a physical text that performs the expansion of desire out toward the feminine truth that “one is always infinitely more than one and more than me, without the fear of ever reaching a limit” (Cixous, 893). Within the manuscript a voice emerges byway of comparison/contrast, and then ingestion/insemination of things ‘Other.’ That voice claims desire as the fruitful path.

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

Emily Jayne Motzkus


Received from author

File Format




File Size

100 pgs


Creative writing