‘Even the poetic world is social’ (Bakhtin, 1981, 300).

This time next week, Saturday 23 June, I will be presenting a paper at the Great Writing conference which argues that poetry writing is a socially mediated process. Sue Dymoke and I published the paper in the Journal of Writing Research 9(2) in 2017.

This is a sneak preview.

In a week’s time I will be posting the slides of my talk here.

In the meantime you can read the Abstract below:

Towards a model of poetry writing development as a socially contextualised process

Theoretical explanations of learners’ poetry writing development are relatively new and, compared to other genres, rare. Neither the cognitive models of writing development, nor the descriptions of poet-practitioners or inspired experts give a fully nuanced representation of the complexity at play in poetry composition. Also missing from these models is the social context of learning to write poetry. We link Vygotsky’s work on the symbolic function of inner speech to documented accounts of poets ‘answering’ the social world to which they belong. We propose a theoretical model of development in poetry writing that takes into account learners’ fluid social contexts, and which draws on Schultz and Fecho’s survey of writing development. This fusion is a new contribution to theorisations of writing development.

doi: 10.17239/jowr-2017.09.02.02