“I can’t do without my poetry": a post-qualitative, phenomenological investigation of a poetry class of older Australians

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    In this chapter, we encounter and explore the experiences of a group of older Australians who are part of a poetry class in the University of the Third Age (U3A), a well-known Australian and international program offering courses giving older and retired people continuing educational and recreational experiences. We focus on the voices of members of a poetry class and especially on their experiences of being together in their discussion about big ideas and poetry. Throughout our text we interweave theory, narratives, and participant and researcher voices. We consider the affective engagement in the context of the poetry group, using experiences drawn from a focus group and interviews with class participants. We found that the poetry writing was built on platforms of honesty, trust, and respect, so that the class allowed writers of all backgrounds and experience to participate and find success in what they believed is the work of the heart. Such creative and substantive participation is important for the wellbeing and continuing learning of older Australians. The chapter uses the phenomenological ideas of Levinas and Scheler to understand the experiences of participants and their interactions with each other. With us as researchers these theorists loosely frame our post qualitative inquiry informed by Deleuze, reflecting a movement away from conventional research methodologies and epistemologies.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationPhenomenological Inquiry in Education
    Subtitle of host publicationTheories, Practices, Provocations and Directions
    EditorsEdwin Creely, Jane Southcott, Kelly Carabott, Damien Lyons
    Place of PublicationAbingdon UK
    Number of pages14
    ISBN (Electronic)9780429285646
    ISBN (Print)9780367250317, 9780367250324
    Publication statusPublished - 2021


    • phenomenology
    • phenomenological inquiry
    • Educational research
    • Phenomenological research
    • Phenomenological analysis

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