English Language and Literature ETDs


Emily Morelli

Publication Date



Motherland is a three-part collection of poetry. The first part, Foreign,' contains poems about Portugal and Brazil. The poems reflect historic events and personal observations. In the context of the collection, they serve as historical and emotional background to my Luso-American identity, working with places and events that came before me and experiences that I explore through the medium of poetry. The second section, 'Familiar,' covers the ground of childhood memory, specifically through place and people, and my adult experiences with motherhood and it surrounding events—pre-pregnancy, pregnancy, birth, and parenting a small child. 'Unexpected,' consists of poems that are more playful in nature or that originated in a more imagined realm—poems about literary characters, found punctuation, and dreams, for instance. The three sections coalesce into a collection, progressing from a quest for understanding within a larger context in 'Foreign,' to a search for defining moments or experiences in 'Familiar,' to a sublimation of understanding or definition in 'Unexpected,' where meaning arrives rather than is sought. The preface discusses the process of writing, influences on my writing, and a close examination of poems by Sylvia Plath, Galway Kinnell, and Robert Hass.'

Degree Name

MFA Creative Writing

Level of Degree


Department Name


First Committee Member (Chair)

Mueller, Daniel

Second Committee Member

Beeder, Amy

Third Committee Member

Goeckel, Lawrence

Fourth Committee Member

Hunt, Aeron




Portugal--Poetry, Brazil--Poetry, Autobiography--Poetry

Document Type