Poems and Research – Insights Into Using Poetic Elements in Academic Research

PERLAn – (Lapsuuden, nuoruuden ja perheen tutkimuskeskus) järjestämä avoin tutkimusseminaari aiheesta Runous ja tutkimus. Seminaarin kieli on englanti.

In the current academic practice, we are more or less confined to the use of words. At the same time, we also realise the impermanence and limitedness of verbal expression, and the essence of the non-verbal that calls to be somehow captured in research. Along visual and bodily methods, poems are an attempt to represent the non-representable of a story or a phenomenon. According to Stuart Aitken (2014, 21), poems provide “a parsimonious rendering of emotions that exceeds the text” and “reveals the emotional power of a conversation”. In this seminar, we discuss various ways of using poetic elements in different phases of a research process. The seminar consist of short presentations based on the researcher’s experiences and experiments on using poems in their research, and discussing the limits and possibilities of poems and other creative narrative methodology in academic/scientific studies.

The seminar is organized by Tampere Centre for Childhood, Youth and Family Research PERLA, in collaboration with the Tampere University, Unit of Pori.


  • 10:15-10:45 Why poems? / Riikka Korkiamäki
  • 10:45-11:15 Methodological slowness / Zsuzsa Millei

Coffee break

  • 11:30-12:00 Engaging Poetic Composition To Capture Emotion and Affect in Excess of Talk / Catherine Conlon
  • 12:00-12:30 Singing society / Eriikka Oinonen
  • 12:30-13:00 Discussion


Riikka Korkiamäki
is a Postdoctoral Researcher in Social Work at the Tampere University, Unit of Pori, studying friendship and peer relationships of “vulnerable” young people.

Zsuzsa Millei is an Associate Professor at the Tampere University School of Education and Culture exploring everyday nationalism in young children’s institutional lives and memories of childhood in (post)socialist contexts.

Catherine Conlon is an Assistant Professor in Social Policy at the School of Social Work and Social Policy at Trinity College Dublin. Her research interests are fertile bodies, reproductive practices and policies regulating reproductive bodies; intergenerational relations and post-qualitative methodologies.

Eriikka Oinonen is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the Tampere University, Unit of Pori, studying youth transition from education to work and exploring the ingredients of good enough life.


We warmly welcome all interested to participate!

We kindly ask you to register for the coffee service by filling out the following form by 11 April: https://elomake3.uta.fi/lomakkeet/17057/lomake.html.

For more information, please contact Riikka Korkiamäki (riikka.korkiamaki [at] tuni.fi / 0504336299) or Katja Repo (katja.repo [at] tuni.fi /0503186199).


PERLA – Lapsuuden, nuoruuden ja perheen tutkimuskeskus