When I was working on my doctoral study, I had to bring together into dialogue my poet, therapist, and researcher selves. In particular, the febrile poet had to be open to critique from the hard-nosed researcher with the critical eye. At times, it was painful to bring a critical gaze to my poetry, focusing in micro on what and how I wrote, and why.

Critique is an important and often uncomfortable element of writing poetry in all contexts of life. Critique is what the poet does to edit their own text—a painstaking process, that U.S. American writer George Saunders describes as involving “making thousands of incremental adjustments” to a text, which, over time “becomes more specific and embodied in the particular.”1 Critique of one’s own poetry is not less uncomfortable when writing poetry in/as/for research. The aesthetic and...

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