Date of Award

4-22-2014

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

English

First Advisor

Patrick Bizzaro, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Resa Crane Bizzaro, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Michael M. Williamson, Ph.D.

Abstract

Grounded upon a scholarly foundation laid by Wendy Bishop, Patrick Bizzaro, and Jason Wirtz, this performance-based study tests fifteen poetry writing strategies extracted from three experienced poets' self-reports on how to write poetry with the intention of developing a research method to test the reliability of using poets' self-reports in teaching creative writing. By reading what three expert-practitioners say they do when they write poetry (Fred Chappell's Plow Naked, Richard Hugo's The Triggering Town, and William Stafford's Writing the Australian Crawl) it is possible for a researcher to chronicle and test the strategies that expert-practitioners say they use to produce the poetry they write. Using a content-based approach to analyze the strategies that three experienced poets self-disclose in their published self-reports on how to write poetry, we may demystify much of the lore which characterizes the teaching and production of poetry writing in the academic setting. By testing the strategies that experienced poets say they use to write poetry, we may use these strategies in teaching students how to write poetry, an approach creative writing scholars agree has been used for as long as creative writing has been taught (Bishop). Using a reflective writer's journal to chronicle the strategies experienced poets say they use to write poetry, the researcher in this study: (1) extracts fifteen strategies from three expert-practitioners' self-reports on how to write poetry, (2) writes poetry using the strategies that three expert-practitioners say they use to produce the poetry they write, and (3) argues whether or not the strategies followed would be useful for teaching poetry writing in the collegiate setting. Based upon the results of this study, the researcher recommends that instructors of poetry writing should consider formal, euphonic, and expressive approaches when they teach students how to write poetry.

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