Date of Award

3-2019

Document Type

Thesis - Admin Access Only

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Department

English

First Advisor

Craig Santos Perez

Second Advisor

kuʻualoha hoʻomanawanui

Third Advisor

Cynthia Franklin

Fourth Advisor

Marie Alohalani Brown

Fifth Advisor

Brandy Nālani McDougall

Keywords

contemporary Hawaiian poetry, moʻo, Hawaiian Literature, Pacific Literature, queer Indigenous poetics, LGBTQ

Abstract

“If We Vanish: A Collection of Queer ʻŌiwi Poetry” is a queer-identified full-length collection of ʻŌiwi poetry by a Native Hawaiian wahine poet. Inspired by the ʻŌiwi figure of the moʻo, the collection explores issues of sexuality, belonging, and intergenerational cycles of trauma and healing. “If We Vanish” significantly addresses the lack of representation of queer Indigenous women in Native Hawaiian and Pacific Literatures. To interrogate issues of intergenerational trauma and silence, I develop a moʻo poetics that centers the mo’o figure as a water protector, whose kuleana to wai (water) and waiwai (prosperity) position them as models of erotic sovereignty and transformative healing. Prioritizing queer, ʻŌiwi, and feminist expressions of “we,” the collection features lyrical, narrative, and documentary poems that are poly-vocal, nonlinear, and associative. I also deploy Native Hawaiian poetic devices such as kaona (hidden meaning) and pīnaʻi (repetition) to experiment with received forms like the villanelle, sestina, and pantoum. The dissertation is organized into five sections: “skins,” which commemorates moʻo and descendents of moʻo in my family; “form a native daughter,” which acknowledges the mentorship of Haunani-Kay Trask; “beddings, sheddings & weddings,” which examines sexual pleasure, trauma, and healing; “polylasting: notes toward a moʻo poetics,” which uses the lyric esssay form to explicate a moʻo poetics; and “erotics of aloha ʻāina,” which emphasizes decolonial connections between love, land, and nationalism.

Comments

The creative work in this dissertation is suppressed in the UH institutional repository, Kahualike, kahualike.manoa.hawaii.edu. Inquiries about the creative work should be made to Noʻukahauʻoli Revilla.

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