Mother-Poems: Using the Confessional as Critique in Autoethnographic Poetry
The use of the personal in poetry provides an evocative tool for the critique of intimate power structures and dominant discourse by illustrating the false binary between private and public conceptions of relationships. The use of confessional poetry as autoethnography provides a method for researcher poets to critique taken-for-granted social structures that disempower and present fully embodied ways of being. I discuss how writing mother-poems about mothering and motherhood act as a form of critical autoethnography. My mother-poems are critical autoethnography; they focus attention on tensions and binaries rather than resolving them to show how the use of personal family intimacies is a way of constructing empowering family narratives that question taken-for-granted cultural discourse surrounding women’s work, mothering, and relationships.
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