Sandra Faulkner in class
National Poetry Month
Faulkner uses poetry to translate family tales
There are many ways to investigate the world and our relationships within it. For Dr. Sandra Faulkner, a specialist in relational communication, poetry sometimes serves in a way that more conventional methods used by social scientists cannot.
Faulkner has recently published "Family Stories, Poetry and Women's Work: Knit Four, Frog One (Poems)." The book calls equally on her roles as a social scientist, poet and teacher, and draws from her familial roles of child, mother and spouse. It can be read purely for the poetry, as a study of patterns of family communication, as a teaching guide for a number of courses, or a combination of all three.
"I made the specific decision to publish it with an academic rather than a literary press," said Faulkner, director of the Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program and a communication faculty member. She made the choice in part to affirm and demonstrate the "poetic inquiry" method, which melds art with social science. "The use of poetry allows a space to argue for the use of personal experience and critical work in the study of close relationships," she writes.