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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Poetic inquiry : current approaches and future applications Vincent, Adam


This study identifies and describes facets of poetic inquiry (Prendergast, 2009), a research method/methodology that creates or uses poetry in the research process (data gathering, analysis or dissemination). Specifically, there is attention paid to how and why it is in use, revelations around its unparalleled function(s) in research, and an exemplification of a close reading approach, trialed in this study, that can draw further knowledge from the products of poetic inquiry studies. Poetic inquiry studies are somewhat established, and their findings are being published in academic journals and books (James, 2017; Vincent, 2018), however, poetic inquiry is currently undertheorized and noticeably missing from notable research methods textbooks (e.g., Creswell, 2013) and publications that discuss the merits of arts-based research (e.g., Slattery, 2003). This may have the negative result of knowledge being lost or overlooked that could hold answers to previously unanswered questions that exist across the disciplines. In response to this problem, this study explores poetic inquiry’s theoretical underpinnings and pragmatic uses in research and scholarship. This is done by way of an in-depth literature review and interviews with four notable poetic inquiry scholars in education in Canada. Detailed profiles for each participant have been created to analyze and emphasize their distinctive poetics and approaches to scholarship. Lastly, this study considers ways that poetic inquiry can inform teaching practices, as poetry is seen to permeate the participants’ lives and influence their approaches to teaching at the post-secondary level.

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