For Dr. Leggo: A Legend

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Karen V Lee


The author reflects on the death of professor who was on her doctoral committee.  She considers how “grief and bereavement has undergone a transformational change in terms of how the human experience of loss is understood, “(Hall, 2014, p. 7).  The article explores how “poems are powerful documents that possess the capacity to capture the contextual and psychological worlds of both poet and subject,” (Furman, 2007, p. 302).  It also explores how reflexivity can be enacted through a poetic inquiry (Prendergast, Leggo, Sameshima, 2009).  Thus, the narrative can contextualize “using alternative forms of data to evoke deep and powerful emotional reactions in the consumer of research,” (Denzin, 1997).   In the end, the narrative weaves poetic inquiry that helps the author gain a deeper understanding about the personal and cultural influences of grief and how it transforms reflections on death, dying, life, and loss.

Keywords: Death; Grief; Loss; Poetic Inquiry.



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Author Biography

Karen V Lee, University of British Columbia

Karen V. Lee, Ph.D. is Lecturer, Faculty Advisor, Area Coordinator, and co-founder of the Teaching Initiative for Music Educators cohort (TIME), at the Faculty of Education, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B. C., Canada. Her research interests include issues of memoir, autoethnography, poetic inquiry, performance ethnography, creative-relational inquiry, women’s life histories, writing practices, music/teacher education, and arts-based approaches to qualitative research.  Her doctoral dissertation was a book of short stories titled Riffs of Change:  Musicians Becoming Music Educators.   She is teacher, writer, musician, teacher/music educator, and researcher. Currently, she teaches undergraduate and graduate students at the university in both traditional and online contexts alongside her academic and scholarly writing pursuits.


Denzin, N. K. (1997) Interpretive Ethnography. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.

Denzin, N.K. (2014). Interpretive Autoethnography. Thousand Oaks, CA: Safe Publications, Inc.

Furman, R., Langer, C., Christine, D., Gallardo, H. , Kulkarni, S. (2007). Expressive research and reflexive poetry as qualitative inquiry: A study of adolescent identity. Qualitative Research, 7(3), 301-315.

Hall, C. (2014). Bereavement Theory: Recent developments in our understanding of grief and bereavement, Bereavement Care, 33:1, 7-12, DOI: 10.1080/02682621.2014.902610

Prendergast, M., Leggo, C., Sameshima, P. (2009). Poetic Inquiry: Vibrant Voices in the Social Sciences. USA: Rotterdam, The Netherlands; Boston: Sense Publishers,