It’s poet Christmas this week in Salem, Mass.—something even this secular Jew can get behind. The Massachusetts Poetry Festival goes on for three days and offers workshops, readings, a small press fair, and a poetry circus.
You can find me at the Hawthorne Hotel library on Sunday afternoon (1:00) presenting “The Language of the Unknown”: The Interplay of Poetry and Science with my poet-friends Rosemary Starace and Heather Hughes.
My first real work in grad school was writing poems about star myths as a way to process the death of my father, who was an astronomer. Eventually I ran out of myths and began writing about the stars themselves. Next thing I knew, I was trolling the website IFLScience in order to find ideas for poems. Poets always need new material, and I wasn’t in the mood to embark on a scandalous affair just to have something to write about.
What have I learned about science or poetry as tools of observation? How do you write about science without confusing the former English majors? What rhymes with paleontology? Why is Heather Hughes obsessed by birds? Come find out. It’ll be fun.