chapter  1
Introduction: Why Poetry?
Pages 28

The first stanza of Kim Addonizio’s (2000) poem, “The Revered Poet Instructs Her Students on the Importance of Revision,” accentuates how a personal interest in the idea of “good poetry” has become more of a professional pursuit. The number of social researchers who use poetry as/ in research has grown significantly in the past two decades (see Prendergast, 2009). Poetry has become a valuable research tool, and some would say a method, for researchers in fields such as anthropology, communication, education, nursing, psychology, sociology, and social work who wish to channel the power of poetry into their work. “Through

the use of consciously applied meter, cadence, line length, alliteration, speed, assonance, connotation, rhyme, variation and repetition, poetry can evoke embodied responses in listeners and readers by recreating speech in ways that traditional research prose can not” (L. Richardson, 1997b, p. 143). A critical issue, then, is the creation and evaluation of poetic forms used for research and representation. If poet-researchers are going to use poetry of all types in their work, we need a critical discussion about how we understand poetry, the process of using poetry as research, and how it informs our work and scholarly endeavors.