Our new edition celebrates the myriad ways that poetry is in science, and science is in poetry, and how we find lyricism in the world around us. As Carol Jenkins writes in her essay, ‘A Transect of the Science-Poetry Incline’ the instance of a poem’s genesis is, like science, always about perception, the data, the senses, and the rigour of knowledge and experience’, but where ‘the science report aims for a single meaning, poetry ‘excels at linguistical hijinks and pluralities’.
We’re really happy to publish a range of wonderful linguistical hijinks and pluralities in this edition, with poems from Krissy Kneen, Alicia Sometimes, Carol Jenkins, Tricia Dearborn, Michael Leach, Shey Marque, Kathryn Fry, Tracy Ryan, Denise Fowler, Jackson, Charlotte Clutterbuck and Magdalena Ball. We also have an original piece of fiction from Natalie Hitoun, which explores the intricacies of a wine lover’s internal organs.
On things mathematical, we’re extremely excited to publish the first English translation of an interview between Japanese author Yoko Ogawa and mathematician Masahiko Fujiwara. Amanda, having read Ogawa’s The Housekeeper and Professor, found her entrenched aversion to mathematics reversed into reverence (Jess is now wondering if she should revisit this book …). Eager to discover more, Amanda hunted for information and encountered a blog by translator Johanna Airth, which in turn led her to “Yonimo Utsukushii Sugaku Nyumon” (Beautiful Mathematics) an interview between Ogawa and another Japanese author. Thanks to Joanna, English-speaking audiences can now appreciate the beauty and elegance of theorems, of tinkering with numbers, of haiku and oral history.
An important part of poetry is sound, and on this note (forgive the pun) we are delighted that Daniella Teixiera is our Scientist of the Month. Daniella is a conservation biologist who uses bioacoustics to monitor the locations of species. In her recent research, this has meant listening to vocalisations of black cockatoos and working out what their calls mean.
Poets Tricia Dearborn and Benjamin Dodds chatted to Jess about their books and writing practice (the interview will be up next week – stay tuned via social media!). In a happy instance of cross-pollination, Tricia is also the editor of a recently-published edition on science in rabbit: a journal of nonfiction poetry, and both Ben and Tricia, together with Jane McCredie, judged the 2018 Quantum Words Science Poetry Competition.
In other news, Amanda has been busy working with students at The University of Sydney through her course ‘Writing Science with Impact.’ If you are interested in taking this course in 2021, please get in touch! In February 2021, Jess will run a three week course on ‘Writing Climate Fiction.’ Details of this will be available in our newsletter and our Facebook community. Alternatively, if you’re interested, you can also email us.
Feature image via Biodiversity Heritage Library