“The Receiver No Longer Holds the Sound”: Parents, Poetry, and the Voices We Create in the World


  • Heather McLeod Memorial University
  • Gisela Ruebsaat Independent Researcher/Poet




poetic inquiry, duoethnography, parents


In this article, we explore how poetic inquiry informed by duoethnography enables us to know our parents better and to reflect on our relationships with them after their deaths. We are interested in how this process of inquiry deepens our thinking about the nature of research and writing as well as about teaching and community work. Through the lens of poetry, we have been able to see beyond the received family histories of whom our parents were and to fashion a more layered and nuanced picture not only of them, but also of the social forces that shaped them, and in turn shaped us as researchers and social activists. Sources for our work include Heather’s father’s poetry and Gisela’s poems, which draw from interviews with her mother and anecdotes her mother told her as she was growing up.

Keywords: poetic inquiry; duoethnography; parents

Author Biography

Heather McLeod, Memorial University

Assistant Professor, Education Faculty