Poetry & Chemistry as Form

Very pleased to presenting at a virtual event This event sponsored by the Indisciplinary Poetics Research Cluster at the University of Bristol. Please book via eventbrite here!: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/poetry-chemistry-as-form-tickets-151937716801?aff=ebdsoporgprofile

What emerges when poetic form is built from science? Poet Miranda Lynn Barnes and chemist/poet Stephen Paul Wren discuss their collaboration.

About this Event

What emerges when poetic form is built from science? In a current collaboration, Miranda Lynn Barnes has been working with medicinal chemist and poet Stephen Paul Wren to explore this question. Examining the form and structures of chemical compounds such as geranyl pyrophosphate and limonene, indole-3-acetic acid and tryptophan, and chemical processes such as those in photosynthesis, they have created new poetic forms inspired by chemistry. With a particular focus on plant chemistry, themes from the poets’ own engagement with the natural world have begun to transpire in the poems. Exploring this common ground has led to unexpected new insights and ideas around form and process. Join Miranda and Stephen for a brief presentation on their collaboration, a reading of some of the resulting poems, and an audience Q&A.

Miranda Lynn Barnes is a poet from the US, now resident in the UK. Miranda’s poems often engage with science, particularly astronomy and physics, and have appeared in New Welsh Reader, Shearsman, Tears in the Fence, Under the Radar, and Lighthouse, among other journals and anthologies. Miranda taught creative writing for five years at Bath Spa University, where she now serves as Research Publications Librarian. Her debut pamphlet, Blue Dot Aubade, was published in October 2020 with V. Press. Find Miranda on Twitter @LuminousJune, or read more about her work at https://mirandalynnbarnes.wordpress.com/.

Stephen Paul Wren was educated at Cambridge and worked as a chemist in industry for many years. He transitioned back into academia at Oxford University (St Hilda’s College) before joining Kingston University in September 2018 where he works as a Senior lecturer. Stephen recently co-authored a pamphlet of poems with Sam Illingworth entitled A Celestial Crown of Sonnets, out from Penteract Press in March 2021. Stephen’s poetry can be read on his website and you can find him on Twitter @Stephen34343631.


Connection at Newcombe – A new novel by Kayt Burgess

Newcombe is too small to qualify for a rail station. So begins a campaign against time and government to guarantee the survival of their community in post-war Northern Ontario.

It’s 1920. The Great War is over and the troops are on their way home to reclaim their old lives. But before he can return to his days as a lawyer, Major Callum Bannatyne has one more mission: to ensure The Canadian National Railway builds its newest expansion through his hometown of Newcombe.

The only problem? Newcombe’s population is too small for it to qualify for a station. And so begins a small town’s campaign against time and government to recruit their ringers and guarantee the survival of their community in post-war Northern Ontario.

But not everyone is on board with duping the government and Cal’s plan is undermined at every turn, whether due to the machinations of the local Reverend’s zealous son, or the bullying of belligerent furrier Randall Evershed. Even Fergus, Cal’s own father, who suffers with dementia, inadvertently jeopardizes the plan when he attacks one of Newcombe’s conspirators during one of his fogs.

But if living in the Canadian wilderness has taught the people of Newcombe anything, it’s how to be resourceful in the face of adversity.

I was honoured to be a part of the dramatised readings to introduce the characters of Newcombe for Kayt’s newest novel. Watch the video or click through to Kayt’s site below to find out more. You can purchase a copy online or through the publisher.