Whatever your politics, poetry can help


Hello all – it is the 2017 US Presidential inauguration ceremony today, and whatever your politics, there is no doubt that ‘change is afoot’.

In this post, I hope to remind us how important it is to find and maintain our research passion. As researchers in the creative industries, we KNOW that our work is important and that our creative passion can truly capture (and convey) the lived experience of a moment – reaching and engaging a broad audience in a uniquely emotive way. In particular, the special language of poetry can reach people – as those of you fortunate enough to work with QUT’s Sarah Holland-Batt will know (Sarah has been awarded the prestigious 2016 Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Poetry for her work, The Hazards – see: 

But, and this is an important message, never forget that your work as an HDR (higher degree research) student can reach many people also. You just have to be brave enough to step up and try.

As inspiration, below, I share the work of spoken word artist Jamila Lyiscott – currently an advanced doctoral candidate and adjunct professor at Columbia University’s Teachers College. TED asked five poets to write, read and record a poem to commemorate the 2017 American Inauguration.

PhD student Jamila Lyiscott  was one – and her poem “2053″ is amazing. As Jamila explains, “the purpose of this piece is to inspire and sustain those of us committed to authoring hope, equity and justice into our immediate future. My impetus for framing the poem in the future is to remind us that we can claim victory, take ownership of the narrative of democracy and forge a different reality into existence if we can envision it now”

To listen, visit: 

I hope you are inspired, like I am, by Jamila’s passion.

Lets all make a difference with our research.

Your friend and HDR mentor,


*Note that Jamila’s research focuses on the education of the African Diaspora. She also teaches adult and adolescent literacy and she works to create spaces that reflect and engage the cultures and values of black and brown youth inside and outside of the classroom. 


2 thoughts on “Whatever your politics, poetry can help”

  1. Thanks for this post, Evonne.

    I’m working on a project focused on mental health recovery and empowerment. I’m not sure exactly how this would correspond with my DCI outcomes, but it would, in any event, be informed by it.

    I expect things to change somewhat as I immerse myself in the DCI process. Ultimately I would like to achieve a meaningful contribution to society. At the moment I can imagine outcomes centered around the empowerment of people with digitally supported traditional crafts.


  2. Hi Rhodian Deetlefs,

    Thanks for your post.

    I’m also working on ‘digitally supported traditional crafts’ in a way. I’m curious about your findings/questions. Would love to hear more!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s