Corroding the Now: Poetry + Science + SF is a gathering of scholars, poets, critics, scientists, science fiction writers, students, and many others. The event will take place on April 12-13, 2019 in Egham, Surrey (United Kingdom), and is set to be the first major academic event dedicated to exploring the relationship(s) between poetry, science, and science fiction.

If your scholarly concerns fall into that realm, consider responding to the Call for Papers. “We are interested in academic papers and panels, creative responses, poetry readings and performances. We welcome scholars, poets, critics, scientists, science fiction writers, students, and all others.”



October 6, 2018

In a time when people seem increasingly entrenched in their own views and language, it’s refreshing to see someone paying attention to the places where “languages” intersect. The October 4, 2018, edition of the peer-reviewed journal BioScience includes a research paper entitled “Poetry as a Creative Practice to Enhance Engagement and Learning in Conservation Science.”

Through observation and research of the literature, the authors conclude that “in the office, lab, or field, writing and sharing poetry can foster creativity and enhance conservation scientists’ engagement and learning of unfamiliar topics.” The use of poetry can also help the scientists explain their findings to a variety of audiences. The paper includes uses of poetry in the classroom and suggested exercises, and also cites other poetry-science crossover activities, such as Project Conservation Haiku.

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(from the BioScience article) illustration and haiku by Gregory Johnson, an oceanographer at the National Institute for Oceanic and Atmospheric Association and contributor to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

poetry, accelerated

July 12, 2018

In the category of random convergences, here’s an article out of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) describing the overnight stay of a pair of poets at the cyclotron. Kate Greene and Anastasios Karnazes explored, read, wrote, and visited with cyclotron workers over the course of their stay.

Poets are like cyclotrons in their ability to both “break and remake,” they noted in a summary statement explaining the purpose of their visit: Cyclotrons can create new elements by fusing atomic nuclei together in high-energy particle beam experiments that bombard one type of element with another, for example, and poets “have been deconstructing and reconfiguring ideas, emotions, experiences, and truths” via a range of devices.

Pictures and more here.

If you’re interested in the intersection of art and technology and how it might look in the future, tune in to Does Technology Need The Arts To Build A Better Future? This happy hour conversation will include Juan José Diaz Infante, who launched the poetry-bearing Ulises I Mexican nanosatellite, and Tavares Strachan, a multidisciplinary contemporary artist who has trained in the Russian cosmonaut program. They’ll be discussing the desirability of connecting (quite literally!) the arts and sciences. If you happen to be in Washington, DC, today (Thursday, October 26, 2017), RSVP and attend the event at New America. If not, the event will stream, 6:00pm – 8:00pm Eastern, on this New America page.

If you lean toward the scientific, you might be interested in “The emotional power of poetry: neural circuitry, psychophysiology, compositional principles,” a study out of the Max Planck Institute. Follow the link to view the abstract and click on PDF to download the 71-page article.

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image: “The emotional power of poetry: neural circuitry, psychophysiology, compositional principles” page 11

Creative tourist owl

A poet, a literary scholar, a climate change scientist and an ornithologist walk into a bar…

No. Wait. Not a joke, but a panel discussion: Migratory Birds: Poetry and Perceptions of Climate Change, taking place at Manchester University on Thursday, June 30, 2016.

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Periodic Table of Your Imagination

This is not to suggest that your imagination is blank. Think of it as a map of prompts that you create yourself. You could start with the actual Periodic Table of Elements and use each element as a prompt. Or you could create your own elements. Need more inspiration? Have a look…

Periodic Table of American Poets – available as a library poster from Echo Lit. They also have periodic tables of American Prose and World Literature Authors.

The 6.5 Practices of Moderately Successful Poets: A Self-Help Memoir (The Writer’s Studio) by Jeffrey Skinner includes “The Periodic Table of Poetic Elements” pictured here.

On December 22, 2008, the literary magazine Rattle posted “The Periodic Table of the Elements of a Literary Life” by Louis Phillips.

The poet who identifies himself only as microcosmologist created a clickable periodic table as a way to index his poems.

The Shimer College blog posted a Periodic Table of Haiku with haiku inspired by the elements (unfortunately, a poor-quality image).

Artist/illustrator Christoph Niemann includes a Periodic Table of Metaphors on his site (among other wonderful “illustrated-life” images).

And a few other favorite periodic tables…

Now all you have to do is fill in the blanks!

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