The Poetics of Descriptive Experience Sampling

Open Access


James Wilkes and Holly Pester, both poets, write here about their engagement with the descriptive experience sampling (DES) method, which stemmed from an interdisciplinary encounter with the psychologist Russell Hurlburt, and their experience of being trained as subjects in this technique. This chapter considers how DES can be used in unexpected ways to think through vexed questions in poetics about the relationship between experience and language, and the material ways in which experience might be captured. James and Holly consider the deployment of DES in the context of a poetry reading, which emerges as a space of multiple, distributed and distractable attention.


Poetry reading Creative criticism Experiment Inner experience Poetry 

Further Reading

  1. Braidotti, Rosi. Metamorphoses: Towards a Materialist Theory of Becoming. Cambridge, UK and Malden, Mass.: Polity Press in association with Blackwell Publishers, 2002.Google Scholar
  2. Deleuze, Gilles. Dialogues. Translated by Claire Parnet. New York, N.Y.: Columbia University Press, 1987.Google Scholar
  3. von Kleist, Heinrich. ‘On the Gradual Production of Thoughts Whilst Speaking’. In Selected Writings, edited by David Constantine, 405–409. London: J. M. Dent, 1997.Google Scholar
  4. Riley, Denise. The Words of Selves: Identification, Solidarity, Irony. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 2000.Google Scholar
  5. Wilson, Elizabeth A. Gut Feminism. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2015.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of EssexColchesterUnited Kingdom
  2. 2.Durham UniversityDurhamUnited Kingdom

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