Resonant Voices: The Poetic Register in Exegetical Writing for Creative Practice
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Quality, exegetical writing can be constrained when students marginalize poetic ways of thinking and replace them with carefully edited accounts that reshape the role and nature of emotional response. In the pursuit of rational, theoretically groomed accounts of practice, they can sometimes end up misrepresenting the embodied nature of their inquiries. Considering burgeoning research into poetic inquiry (PI) in the social sciences, this article employs a case study of five doctoral graduates in art and design who have articulated the role of poetic thinking in their creative practice theses. In addition to offering illustrations of how practice-led researchers use PI, the examples demonstrate ways in which poetic approaches can be employed to enhance communicative clarity beyond the constraints of conventional academic writing. Specifically, the examples demonstrate how poetic writing is used to process and articulate indigenous knowledge, enhance embodied thinking and inquiry and deepen levels of reflection and understanding. Such uses can cause a researcher to view the world differently and by extension, expand the nature of what it means to conduct research. In discussing the nature of poetic writing, the article considers three distinct profiles: exegetical writing employed when the nature of the practice is poetic; poetic writing that draws on indigenous approaches to scholarship and poetic writing used as a method for reflection.