Year of Award


Document Type

Professional Paper - Campus Access Only

Degree Type

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Degree Name

Creative Writing (Poetry)

Department or School/College

Department of English

Committee Chair

Joanna Klink

Commitee Members

Karen Volkman, Elizabeth Hubble, Eduardo Chirinos


Poetry, Poems, Poem, Queer, Image, Mountain


University of Montana

Subject Categories

Creative Writing | Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Fine Arts | Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies | Philosophy of Language | Poetry


My work is somewhat political, addresses my queer identity, mulls over the legacy of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, talks about relationships between women, and is hopefully full of images that hook themselves into the reader's memory.

The features of our topography exist in my poems as symbols in an emotional vocabulary: an island is withholding, the desert is silence, a cave is a tunnel with an end and both are for hiding, mountains are hope except when they are me. By literally grounding my writing I’m able to explore abstractions of philosophy and theory without losing the visceral humanity behind or within the work.

My work echoes my experience as a queer woman; it resonates with things that can’t be said, coexisting denial and devotion, equivocation and metaphor. On the page, I believe this “queerness” is also manifest in an inclination to the non-linear. I’m interested in literal and metaphorical meanings held together with sticky layers of signification in between.

In The Rejection of Closure (1985), Lyn Hejinian writes, “We delight in our sensuous involvement with the materials of language, we long to join words to the world—to close the gap between ourselves and things—and we suffer from doubt and anxiety because of our in¬ability to do so.” The sublime tension in the delight and anxiety of that gap between words and world keeps me digging deeper into this work that we’re doing.

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© Copyright 2015 Alicia M. Mountain