To read this content please select one of the options below:

Echoes of silence: an embossed poetic inquiry

Josh Ambrosy (Institute of Education, Arts and Community, Federation University Australia, Ballarat, Australia)
Benjamin Zonca (Faculty of Education, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Australia)

Qualitative Research Journal

ISSN: 1443-9883

Article publication date: 18 June 2024




Silences in qualitative social science research present a unique and sometimes ambiguous challenge for researchers. When working with transcription artefacts, considering not only what has been said but also what has been silenced, omitted, overlooked or brushed over allows new ways of examining a phenomenon. This paper explores a new methodological approach to exploring these silences.


This article explores “embossed” poetry as a methodological process to consider what has not been said. Via an empirical study that examined the experience of six teachers of a year nine programme in Victoria, Australia, we explore how embossed poems within a larger research project allowed the interrogating of silences. Through a polyvocal performance of text and poetry, this paper argues that embossed poetry offers significant methodological possibilities through which previously silenced ideas and analytical processes can become visible within poetic research praxis.


The findings of this paper are that by using embossed concrete poems, researchers can explore new territories within qualitative work. By putting down the keyboard and picking up a hand-embossing tool, new space for thought emerges and other parts of an assemblage can be explored.


This paper presents a unique methodological contribution to poetic inquiry. Furthermore, it explores the path trodden to develop this new approach through a reflexive-diffractive polyvocal text.



Ambrosy, J. and Zonca, B. (2024), "Echoes of silence: an embossed poetic inquiry", Qualitative Research Journal, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2024, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles