Off-campus UNL users: To download campus access dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your NU ID and password. When you are done browsing please remember to return to this page and log out.

Non-UNL users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this dissertation through interlibrary loan.

It's Not a Lonely World

Erin M Bertram, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


This dissertation represents the culmination of four years of creative activity in lyric hybrid texts. By exploring a loved one’s and my own unique and, at times, dovetailing experiences with gender, involving illness and queerness, respectively, my work inquires into, and navigates, the myriad “rules” surrounding gendered bodies—namely bodies that, temporarily or lifelong, do not conform to pervasive cultural norms. The critical introduction to my creative work provides an overview of my manuscript, followed by a discussion of its origins, as well as my hesitations about writing in an atypical literary genre and integrating intimate subject matter. I cite my influences, creative and theoretical, situating my poetics in a broader literary context. I also trace the major rhetorical elements in my manuscript, examples of which can be seen in this document. And I discuss how performing both emotion and sentiment analyses further nuanced my understanding of my work on a macro level. The description of my manuscript provides a more in-depth discussion of the work itself, outlining its major aesthetic values and strategies, and describing the affective and cognitive experience I hope it elicits. I also focus on how its two prose poem sequences are interwoven, alongside various additional writing genres, to create tension and resonance, layers of meaning that echo and evolve throughout the text. The sample of published work reflects the range of writing in my manuscript. As stated in the Acknowledgements, this work has previously appeared elsewhere.

Subject Area

Womens studies|LGBTQ studies|American literature

Recommended Citation

Bertram, Erin M, "It's Not a Lonely World" (2018). ETD collection for University of Nebraska-Lincoln. AAI10792555.