Poetic Inquiry

Enchantment of Place

Pauline Sameshima, Alexandra Fidyk, Kedrick James, Carl Leggo (Eds.)

by Pauline Sameshima (Lakehead University, Canada)

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"Wallace Stegner once wrote, “Until it has a poet, a place is not a place.” Poetic Inquiry: Enchantment of Place calls many different places into being through the feeling and knowing hearts of its skillful poets. The contributors to this volume—and to the larger movement to embolden inquiry through the feeling imagination—rescue research from orthodoxy and return us to our senses, enlivened to our own particular times and places."

David Greenwood, Canada Research Chair in Environmental Education, Lakehead University, Canada

"This erudite collection is a fresh cut into the nature of thinking about being human, about stepping on the lily pads and rock piles of life and recording interpretations of what it means to be self-conscious sensual-intellectual beings in the process. It reaffirms that being poetic is to be in a story, adding mettle to the truth that poetry is another way to encode and share the foundations of human experience. Poetry heartfelt and thought through can ground theories of the world that actually involve our interactions with it, not just abstractions from it. Making that case and others emphatically, Poetic Inquiry marks its own fundamental contribution to social science and arts-based research."

Ivan Brady, Distinguished Teaching Professor, State University of New York, USA

"The circumstances of our living always call out for a new breath, for new ways with words. Things have shifted. You can smell the Earth and taste the salt of weeping. These heartening writings are part of a greater breath, where the images and words surrounding teaching and learning and self-articulation are flying free of old, exhausted ways. Read it slowly. It is worth your while."

David W. Jardine, Retired Professor of Education, Canada

"In an era of “alternative facts,” language itself is at risk. Poetic Inquiry: Enchantment of Place returns us to the human imagination as an organ of knowing indivisibly united with the phenomenology of words and things. Rich, provocative, insightful and sustaining, this collection shows “poetic inquiry” as a necessary mode of knowing and being for the twenty-first century. It returns poetry to its roots in cosmology, and inquiry to the incisive precision of poetry."
Susan Rowland, Chair, MA Engaged Humanities and the Creative Life, Pacifica Graduate Institute, California, USA

"Between earth and sky, mind and heart, language and excess, these diverse contributions gather us together in lonely times, making us slow down and listen, listen, listen . . . to a mysterious but promising call . . . two parts dwelling and one part adventure."

Les Todres, Emeritus Professor of Health Philosophy, Bournemouth University, UK

"This book is a rigorous and beautiful response to both the concept and process of poetic inquiry. The delicate interweaving of sublime and evocative poetry masterfully arranged and composed by the editors brings to the fore the emotional resonance of poetry and its capacity to distil the complexities of life. It is an enchanting addition to the field of poetic inquiry, artfully balanced by considered essays throughout. The ubiquitous concept of place draws the various strands of the book together for the reader to interpret the material presented on both a personal and communal level. The imagery used throughout is thoughtful and complementary resulting in a book that is a valuable addition to this field. It is quite simply a work of art!"

Margaret Baguley, Associate Professor, University of Southern Queensland, Australia

"Poetic Inquiry: Enchantment of Place is another in several recent volumes of poetic inquiry, a type of arts-based research. The book publishes the studies presented at the fifth International Symposium on Poetic Inquiry (ISPI) at the University of British Columbia’s Botanical Gardens. It includes villanelles written after a game of exquisite corpse, poems about the healing process of abused Indigenous women, ekphrastic poetry in appreciation of Emily Carr and Basquiat, found poetry, erasure poetry, eco-poetry, erotic poetry, poetry about the Puerto Rican diaspora, poetry about time, poetry about self-diagnosing after reading the DSM. These autoethnographic poetic tellings speak of personal experiences and personal mythologies combined with visual art, photography, dance, and music, science, statistics, and research commentary. One does not usually find such interdisciplinary richness in a book of conference proceedings. Read and behold."

Jane Piirto, Trustees’ Distinguished Professor, Director of Talent Development Education, Ashland University, Ohio, USA

"An inspirational compendium of poetic nourishment for all the senses, cradled lovingly in text that portrays the journey of poetic inquiry—its story, its present and its future. Enchantment of Place is a landmark of possibility on the poetic inquiry landscape, a must for all poetic inquirers, and a call to others."

Lynn Butler-Kisber, Professor, Integrated Studies in Education, McGill University, Canada

"This book is a beautiful and poetic addition to literature on critical research methods, inquiry and alternative ways of seeing the world. Over the past few decades many have privileged data controlled and quantitative approaches to evidence. However, books such as these remind us that there is more to life than viewing phenomenon through such narrow lenses. Without such books as this one, we would truly be limited in our understanding of multiples ways of making meaning and ultimately humanity."

Georgina Barton, Senior lecturer and Program Director of Bachelor of Secondary Education. Australian Literacy Educators’ Association Fellow, Griffith University, Australia

In the tradition of a decade of bi-annual gatherings of the International Symposium on Poetic Inquiry, this volume serves as the fifth refereed symposium anthology. Enchantment of Place celebrates poetry and poetic voices—theorizing and exploring poetic inquiry as an approach, methodology, and/or method for use in contemporary research practices.

Poetic inquiry has increased in prominence as a legitimate means by which to collect, assimilate, analyze, and share the results of research across many disciplines. With this collection, we hope to continue to lay the groundwork internationally, for researchers, scholars, graduate students, and the larger community to take up poetic inquiry as a way to approach knowledge generation, learning, and sharing.

This volume specifically works to draw attention to the ancient connection between poetry and the natural world with attention to broadening the ecological scope and impact of the work of poetic inquirers.

Pauline Sameshima is a Canada Research Chair in Arts Integrated Studies at Lakehead University. She was a co-editor of Poetic Inquiry: Vibrant Voices in the Social Sciences (2009), the first handbook on poetic inquiry. Her interdisciplinary scholarship uses multi-modal transmediation to catalyze creative innovation, generate wanderings, and provoke new dialogues.

Alexandra Fidyk, poet, philosopher, psychotherapist, and professor (Associate) teaches in the Department of Secondary Education, University of Alberta. Her research and scholarship seek to make learning and living more ethical through insights garnered from analytical psychology, Buddhist thought, and process philosophy.

Kedrick James is a Senior Instructor in the Department of Language and Literacy Education at the University of British Columbia and Director of the Digital Literacy Centre. His scholarship, research, and teaching focus on writing pedagogy, automation of literacy, and poetics of transmediation. He is a digital ecologist, environmentalist, and multimedia artist.

Carl Leggo is a poet and professor in the Department of Language and Literacy Education at the University of British Columbia. He has published seventeen books of poetry and scholarship, always with a focus on creativity, the arts, and education. He daily seeks to know the heart of living poetically.

Poetic inquiry, arts-based research, qualitative research, arts-based methods, life writing, autoethnography, ecopoetics, interdisciplinarity, ecological literacy, environmental literacy, media ecology, place based learning, environmental education, writing and composition, literary performance, writing workshop, performative ethnography, healing arts, culturally responsive pedagogy

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Bibliographic Information

Book Title

Poetic Inquiry

Book Subtitle

Enchantment of Place





Number of pages


Physical size

236mm x 160mm


33 B&W
Publication date
March 2018