Poetry in America and Nautilus Magazine recently announced a new collaboration to explore the relationship between poetry and science. This online channel will include videos of conversations between Poetry in America director Elisa New and prominent scientists, poets, and public figures, as well as short essays written by Poetry in America staff. Each post in the series will look closely at an individual poem, how it is informed by scientific phenomena, and how it in turn can offer new ways of understanding such phenomena.
The initial sequence of posts, to be published this summer, will build on our newest for-credit online course, Poetry in America for Teachers: Earth, Sea, Sky, and will focus primarily on biological and environmental subjects. Participants in the series will examine how we observe and experience the natural world, asking what we can know through science and art, and what is likely to remain beyond our grasp. In future months we expect to look at other scientific fields, adding posts on economics and the cosmos, and expanding on previous discussions that Poetry in America has organized about poetry and medicine.
Guests in the series include former Vice President Al Gore, evolutionary biologist E.O. Wilson, botanist and director of the Arnold Arboretum Ned Friedman, former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky, evolutionary biologist and ornithologist Scott Edwards, microbial ecologist Serita Frey, former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Hass, geologist and climate scientist Daniel Schrag, biologist and forester Audrey Barker Plotkin, multimedia artist and composer Paul Miller aka DJ Spooky, paleoceanographer Yige Zhang, climate scientist Timothy Cronin, anthropologist Zoe Nyssa, and marine scientists at Conservation International.
The series will feature the work of Emily Dickinson, Herman Melville, Wallace Stevens, Marianne Moore, Sylvia Plath, Galway Kinnell, Mary Oliver, Howard Nemerov, and Robert Pinsky, among others.
Read Elisa New’s introduction to the channel here. You can read the first post in the series here, written by Poetry in America producer Leah Reis-Dennis and featuring microbial ecologist Serita Frey’s commentary on Sylvia Plath’s “Mushrooms.”
Bookmark the channel and find new posts on a weekly basis at http://poetry.nautil.us/.