2019 Student Research Conference:
32nd Annual Student Research Conference

Cognitive Poetry


Maura C. Shimmens
Dr. Sarah Mohler, Faculty Mentor

Cognitive theory illuminates important elements of literature, in this case poetry, such as emotion and metaphor, by evaluating the underlying cognitive structures and schemas. This rich analysis helps readers further engage with the text by focusing on elements that are subconsciously registered. These skills can be transferred into the creation of text, as well, in a practice called cognitive poetry. This sort of reverse engineering brings new light to the creative process, adds new tools to the writer’s toolbox. Here the creation of new poems relies particularly on the gestalt psychologist’s idea of figure and ground, engaging with reader perception to tell a story. In these poems, as in life, the alphabet is used as prime material for creation. The difference is all in our pre-conceived notions; what can a new juxtaposition of letters do to remind us of who we are?

Keywords: cognitive literary theory, cognitive poetics, poetry, creative writing

Topic(s):English

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 206-6
Location: BH 251
Time: 11:30

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