“Now let me share this with you”: Exploring Poetry as a Method for Postcolonial Geography Research



Abstract:  In this article we attempt to “seize back the creative initiative” to uncover whether poetry might be a useful postcolonial research method. In exploring the possibilities and limitations of poetry as a means of re-representing and interpreting data collected through in-depth qualitative interviews, our conclusions are ambivalent: we are attracted to poetry but troubled by it too. For instance, poetry does hold promise through its ability to imaginatively project thoughts and ideas, opening up space so new perspectives can emerge. However, as academics we are always complicit in the knowledge creation process (albeit to varying degrees), and so the representative qualities of poetry are never unproblematic or straightforward. Thus although poetry does have potential as a method for postcolonial geography research, we are making a cautious and careful appeal for its use. We use the case of ecotourism research conducted in Boabeng-Fiema Monkey Sanctuary in Ghana to explore these ideas.