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Researchers
Supervisors

 

Host institution: Lancaster University, UK
Lead supervisor: Linden Ball: l.ball AT lancaster.ac.uk
Researcher: Erin Beatty

Produce a theoretical understanding of the cognitive processes that underpin creative leaps during expert poetry composition

Description:
Although our understanding of creative processes in technological design domains has developed considerably over the past decade, our understanding of creative processes in artistic domains remains highly impoverished. As a consequence, it is difficult to determine the processing similarities and differences that arise across disciplines of artistic and technological innovation - which hinders attempts to develop generic models of creativity as well as tools to support innovative practices.

This project will address such knowledge gaps through a targeted study of expert poetry composition. The few previous studies of this activity have typically taken an educational perspective, considering poetry composition as reducible to elementary writing sub-processes of planning, translating, reviewing and revising. This view, however, seems limited as it fails to capture the sophistication of the processes of idea generation, structural integration and emotion connotation that appear to arise in the act of poetry creation and which serve to elicit profound aesthetic experiences in readers. Our aim is to analyse the nature of poetry composition by deploying think-aloud protocol techniques supplemented by concurrent, diary-based process-tracing methods that have previously been used to good effect in design research. This research will entail the recruitment of several currently active poets who have published their work or who are seeking publication outlets.
The aim will be to study both pre-experts (e.g., high-calibre postgraduates) and experts (e.g., individuals who are nationally or internationally recognised for the quality of their poetic work).