Poetic Inquiry: Unearthing the Rhizomatic Array Between Art and Research

by Adam Vincent (University of British Columbia; University of the Fraser Valley)

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Written with an engaging, conversational tone, this book captures the best of both academic and creative expression. There is generative movement at the heart of practice that in this articulation of poetic inquiry has the ability to pause and listen deeply, and to attend to the self-in-relation with humility, awareness and sensitivity to practice.
In terms of contributing to the field of education, this book is both timely and definitive. Vincent identifies critical issues concerning poetic inquiry and arts research in general, and invites us to consider the integrity of poetic practice as an artist, researcher and teacher, resulting in a book with the needed coherence, rationality and style to facilitate opportunities to re-think and re-make innovative practices in schools, in university classrooms, and beyond.
The genealogy of thought documented in interviews with leading scholars offers an original contribution to historical understandings and recognises the vitality of learning and mentoring relationships that nurture such possible spaces as research. The analysis of specific works and identification of hallmark traits add new layers to the discourse of poetic inquiry and demonstrates further how this book makes an original contribution to knowledge. The concluding chapter is well-crafted, and serves as a guide to how poetic inquiry, as a rhizomatic array of diverse approaches, is contingent on the researcher’s disposition to research questions.
This book offers a key contribution to the study of poetic inquiry, and in particular, it honours the legacies of those who have made poetic inquiry possible. Vincent’s vision for the future is rooted in equitable, inclusive and diverse applications, and as a result, this book serves as an open invitation to students and scholars alike to take up these practices.
Vincent is indeed living poetically.

Dr. Anita Sinner
Program Coordinator, BFA Major
Art Education, Faculty of Fine Arts
Concordia University

Dr. Vincent takes a close look at four leading artist-scholars in the field of poetic inquiry with insight and grace in “Poetic Inquiry: Unearthing the Rhizomatic Array Between Art and Research.” His analysis, coupled with his poetic response to their work, offers the reader a rich lens to better understand the complexity and possibilities of poetic inquiry as a research methodology. This book is invaluable for arts-based scholars, practitioners and educators who have a particular interest in poetic inquiry. Within the ten chapters, Vincent provides a detailed historical evolution of the field, a robust literature review, plenty of examples of engaging in poetic inquiry in diverse ways, and last but not least a convincing and compelling argument as to why this approach is much needed in scholarship and for community engagement.

Dr. George Belliveau
Professor and Head
Faculty of Education, Department of Language and Literacy Education
The University of British Columbia

In this delightful book, Dr. Adam Vincent invites us to consider how poetic inquiry can form a methodology for educational audiences. Beneficial to educators, as well as scholars, readers and creators of poetry, and arts-based practitioners, this book will serve as a pioneering resource for years to come.

Dr. Derek Gladwin
University of British Columbia)
Author of 'Rewriting Our Stories: Education, Empowerment, and Well-being'

This book identifies and describes facets of poetic inquiry, a research method/methodology/tool that uses poetry in the research process (information gathering, analysis and/or dissemination). Specifically, this book explores how and why it is in use, provides revelations around its unparalleled function(s) in research, and presents an exemplification of a close reading approach, trialled in the study framed in the book, 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 however, poetic inquiry is currently undertheorized and noticeably missing from notable research methods textbooks and publications that discuss the merits of arts-based research. 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 book (drawing from the doctoral research study therein), highlights poetic inquiry’s theoretical underpinnings and pragmatic uses in research and scholarship that can be adopted and adapted by new and established scholars. This is done using the tenets of poetic inquiry as a frame and includes in-depth literature review and an exploration of the findings of interview 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 book 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.

This book is written for both early career and well-established scholars who have an interest in exploring ways that poetic inquiry (which marries art and epistemology) can enhance their research and teaching practices.

List of Figures and Tables
Foreword: The Journey to Self-Discovery In/ Through Poetic Inquiry
Chapter 1 This book. The study. Why Poetic Inquiry?

Chapter 2 Exploring the Literature: How Is Poetic Inquiry Being Used in Published Studies?

Chapter 3 Research Methodology: Theory, Design and Methods

Chapter 4 Profile: Dr. Carl Leggo What is this Work? Who Can Do It?

Chapter 5 Profile: Dr. Pauline Sameshima

Chapter 6 Profile: Dr. John Guiney Yallop

Chapter 7 Profile: Dr. Monica Prendergast

Chapter 8 Analyzing Poetics, Purposes and Teaching Praxis

Chapter 9 Implications, Applications and Conclusion

Chapter 10 Epilogue, Post-Study Rumination on Theory and Findings

Appendix: Interpretive Frameworks and Poetic Inquiry

Dr. Adam Vincent is a poet, awarding winning researcher and university instructor. He simultaneously approaches his research, curriculum development and scholarship across the disciplines with the sensibilities of a poet (who has written and performed poetry for over 25 years) and with the eye of a university-level educator (who has over a decade of teaching and facilitation experience).

He has a doctoral degree in Language and Literacy Education from the University of British Columbia, which supports his diverse teaching portfolio that includes teaching university-level communications and academic transitions (University of the Fraser Valley), teaching literacy assessment practices (University of British Columbia), and providing academic support for students across the disciplines (Capilano University and Kwantlen Polytechnic University).

Poetic inquiry, epistemology, qualitative research methods, arts-based educational research, education, poetics

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Bibliographic Information

Book Title

Poetic Inquiry: Unearthing the Rhizomatic Array Between Art and Research





Number of pages


Physical size

236mm x 160mm


11 B&W

Publication date

July 2022