One of the key challenges of creative writing research lies in successfully articulating the relationship between the creative work and the critical context, thinking, and outcomes associated with its production. The prospect of providing an introduction, commentary, or some other critical discourse related to their work often leaves students struggling to know how to address this relation.This chapter suggests the concept of poetics as a useful way of tackling this issue. While the term ‘poetics’ has referred to the study of principles and forms of literary composition since Aristotle wrote his treatise in 330``BC`, coming later to refer specifically to the study of poetry, here, ‘poetics’ refers to the means by which writers across a range of genres formulate and discuss a critical attitude to their own work. This formulation recognises a range of influences: the traditions they write within and against, relevant literary, social, and political contexts, and the processes of composition and revision undertaken. Such a concept of poetics offers a means by which writers in the academy can develop an ethos towards their work in order to gain perspective on the interrelated aspects of practice and theory, and the critical and creative activities involved in the act of writing, helping them to express the knowledge gained through practice-led research.Drawing upon the image of the triptych, whose three interconnected panels allow the two outer panels to hinge, folding over the central one in a dynamic movement involving close touching, I suggest that poetics might usefully become the anchoring panel at the centre of research practice that sets out to produce creative work in knowing close connection with critical and theoretical influences.
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