Utilizing PDCM to Analyze How Comparable Liberal Arts Institutions Evaluate Poems

Graduation Year


Publication Date

Spring 2019


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In We Need To Talk: A New Method for Evaluating Poetry (2018), Michael Theune and Bob Broad present a study that employs a version of their “Poetry Dynamic Criteria Mapping” (PDCM) methodology to empirically and inductively investigate the implicit criteria that went into the selection of poems. I employ a version of PDCM in my study. I coded and analyzed 752 poems from the past three years’ issues of nine creative arts journals from liberal arts institutions in the same academic conference. Two important patterns emerged: (1) the vast majority of the poems are outgrowths of confessional poetry: free verse, serious, introspective, and focused on emotion, and (2) few poems seem aligned with other values, including those espoused by avant-garde, slam, and socially and politically engaged poetry.


English Language and Literature

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