This essay begins with an ethical quandary: the author’s academic institution had purchased some very expensive resources for her so that she could complete her research for a book-length verse-biography project on choreographer George Balanchine. The problem is, the resources arrived after she considered that project ‘complete’ (the book was in press). How might a creative practice researcher quash her guilt in this regard?
The essay follows her process of reopening the project — as a more traditional biographer might do in order to produce a ‘revised’ edition — not only to integrate information from those new resources, but to revisit discarded research notes (the ‘refuse’) that did not yield poems within the initial publication. In assembling new versions of poems from the published book, the author reconsiders the biographical project as an ongoing, ever-evolving and ephemeral process, akin to the revision of ballet repertoire.
Keywords: creative-practice research, poetic/verse biography, George Balanchine, poetry, biography and revision, Lyn Hejinian, Dennis Cooley