Review of “Doing Poetic Inquiry” by Helen Owton (2017)


  • Sarah MacKenzie-Dawson Bucknell University



poetic inquiry, phenomenology, interdisciplinary, reflective writing, arts- based research


Directed toward the novice, Helen Owton’s (2017) book, Doing Poetic Inquiry, introduces the reader to poetry as an approach to research that allows one to enter into a phenomenological space of relational experience and understanding. Striving toward accessibility, she captures the tensions that exists within qualitative research by offering a guide that is both personal and methodologically orientated. Across the space of this review, I blend found poetry with prose as a means of entering into dialogue with this work. This dialogue lives in a messy space of intention and understanding where knowing lives within the body—the heart, the personal and political. Owton’s work is a compassionate gesture that offers concrete examples and suggestions inviting the reader to reconsider their own research practices and the discursive spaces in which those practices live.

Author Biography

Sarah MacKenzie-Dawson, Bucknell University

Sarah K. MacKenzie-Dawson is Associate Professor of Education at Bucknell University, which sits along the Susquehanna River. She spends her days negotiating between her identities as a mother, artist, poet, partner, teacher, scholar, and introvert. It is the navigation within these liminal and often conflicting spaces that shapes her (re)search.

Review Section Image by Darlene St. Georges



How to Cite

Sarah MacKenzie-Dawson. (2022). Review of “Doing Poetic Inquiry” by Helen Owton (2017). Art/Research International: A Transdisciplinary Journal, 7(2), 543–553.