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Conference Proceeding

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This conference paper was originally published as:

Rickett, C., Beveridge, J., Northcote, M., Williams, A., & Musgrave, D. (2014). Poetic threshold moments: From fledgling to published author. Paper presented at the 5th Biennial International Threshold Concepts Conference, Durham, England. Abstract retrieved from


130103 Higher Education| 130201 Creative Arts, Media and Communication Curriculum and Pedagogy| 130204 English and Literacy Curriculum and Pedagogy (excl. LOTE, ESL and TESOL)| 130205 Humanities and Social Sciences Curriculum and Pedagogy (excl. Economics, Business and Management)

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This paper presents perspectives from award-winning poets on an initiative where they were involved in publishing with undergraduate students who were completing a creative writing class at a tertiary education institution in NSW, Australia. This initiative provided students with the opportunity to be both taught by and publish with world-class poets. As a culmination of the semester’s class the students also had an opportunity for selected work to be published alongside high profile writers in a collaborative anthology. The recent Wording the World (2010) and Here Not There (2012) poetry anthologies are printed artefacts of this process.

While reflecting on their experience of the initiative, the established writers provide interesting insights on the pedagogical value of such a program. It is also of interest to appreciate what motivates these poets to contribute their time and works to a project that assists student-writers to successfully cross a literary threshold. While reflecting on their journeys in achieving literary notoriety, the poets relate how they reached an understanding of threshold concepts associated with their identity as authors, their skills as writers, the way in which they influence other authors, and the way in which the writing community perceives them.

One of the key findings that emerges from the study of this initiative, where the experts so generously give of themselves, is that through their experiences of the potentially isolating act of writing poetry when they were younger, they are able provide a sense of inclusivity and opportunity for newly emerging writers wishing to find a shape, voice and publication point for their creativity. Rather than seeing the process of poetry writing as a journey or a path, the data gathered from the established poets in this program indicates that there are a number of threshold points that poets experience as they move from being a fledgling to a published author.


Used by permission: University College London

This abstract may be accessed from the conference website here.