Poetry as Illumination: Enhancing the Content and Process of Qualitative Research
Karen S. Joest

While conducting qualitative interviews with female adolescents exposed to domestic violence, some of whom were also victims of violence, the author used poetry as a means of enhancing reflexivity and the content and process of interviewing. Although participants wrote and shared their poetry, the primary purpose of this article is in how the researcher used poetry as a means of reflecting on how her own lived experiences could impact the research and her perceptions of participants. Secondly, poetry illuminated concerns the researcher had about the research process and the difficulties in really assisting participants who had experienced traumatic life experiences. Do we, as researchers, do enough to help? A third purpose delineated how the author used poetry to reflect on how she viewed participants in the study. Reflective poetry written by the author was shared with participants, and as reported by participants, often enhanced a sense of empowerment and catharsis.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/rah.v5n1a3