Poetic Signs of Third Place: A Case Study of Student-driven Imitation in a Shelter for Young Homeless People in Copenhagen

Christina Matthiesen

Abstract


During a series of writing-workshops at a shelter for young homeless people in Copenhagen, I  examined to what extent the literary practice of student-driven imitation with its emphasis on self-governance and a dialogical approach can engage marginalized learners in reading and writing. I found that student-driven imitation had the potential to engage different kinds of writers and that they adopted  the practice with ease and confidence. In addition, I experienced, that the residents’ preferred genre was poetry and that they generally sought a neutral space with low attention to social status, characterized by dialogue and a homely feel. This space is comparable to Oldenburg’s third place, and I suggest that poetry is a textual marker of this space.   



Publication of the Community Literacy Journal is made possible through the generous support of the English Department and the Writing and Rhetoric Program at Florida International University. The CLJ is a journal of the Conference on Community Writing.