Date of Award

Summer 2007

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Block, Ed.

Second Advisor

Hathaway, Heather

Third Advisor

Hoeveler, Diane


As a research assistant for Marquette University's Renascence journal, I was introduced to the poetry of Denise Levertov while working on a special issue of the journal Spirit in the Poetry of Denise Levertov. At my first MLA convention in San Francisco, I was impressed by the strong environmental stance of ASLE (Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment) and was introduced to the concept of ecopoetry. Eventually, I attended ASLE's biannual conference in Michigan and learned about ecofeminism. As I was contemplating a subject for my dissertation, I began to think about the connections between the work of Denise Levertov and other women writers and ecofeminism. As I began writing my dissertation, I struggled to understand how ecofeminist literary criticism could be applied to the work of Denise Levertov, not sure what I would discover, but was amazed and delighted to discover the abundance of ecofeminist concepts present in Levertov's work and personal life. I have been inspired by studying Levertov and her body of work. Her work clearly shows an affinity to those who work against oppression to create a better world. Reading Levertov's poetry has reminded me to pay attention to life's blessings, friends and family, and the beauty of the world around me. I have been deeply moved by Levertov's urgent call to all of us to pay attention before it is too late, for "we can't wait: time is / not on our side" (TSA 189). Her strength and courage to speak out has inspired me to change my life in many ways, from the choice of the car I drive to the texts I use in the classroom. Reading and studying Levertov's work has stirred my heart and enriched my life.



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