Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts




Creative Writing (MFA)

First Advisor/Chairperson

Dr. Caroline Zoe Krzakowski


Why do people—especially lawyers and police—condone sexual violence, refusing to acknowledge the value and worth of survivors’ lives? What does it mean to survive? And to what travesties must we bear witness before collectively taking action to stop perpetuating toxic cycles which harm society’s most vulnerable? Beginning where the body, where language, ends (within the depths of ink itself—into the heartbeat drum of an unconscious poet as she hurls herself back into being), Levity represents a revelatory poetic response to the gravity of tragedy, making beauty out of coping with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA), two disabilities with which I was diagnosed in the immediate aftermath of rape, devastating injustice, and prolonged abuse being human trafficked through the American legal system. Levity asks: is the body itself a kind of poem? Focusing less on ruin and more on hope despite systemic oppression and abusers who routinely attack, undermine, and underestimate women, the LGBTQ+ community, and people with disabilities, this collection of poems embraces erotic power—signaling a desire not just to survive but to be alive—exploring identity fragmentation “post”-trauma; writing as activism, spiritually restorative, and an act of self-love; and the power of individuals to resist cruelty, supporting one another inside the current capitalist heteronormative patriarchy. A poetry book about poetry, the nature of healing, and the spirit’s resilience to persist in the face of trauma with confidence and grace, Levity elevates a silenced voice, uncovering the buried truth: a woman’s love—for herself, humanity, and the world.

Access Type

Open Access

Justification for Restricting Access

I am submitting individual poems from my thesis to literary journals and will be publishing the collection as a book.

Available for download on Friday, April 07, 2028