Fun Palaces: ‘We are Star Stuff: Embodying the Cosmos’

Brilliant Bodies!

Wills Memorial, Queens Rd, Bristol, Bristol, England, BS8 1RJ

Reception Room, located in the Wills Memorial Building, University of Bristol, found at the top of Park Street.

1st October, 2016 – 10:00AM – 5:00PM (click to find out more)

It shapes our emotions. It connect us, and brings us into conflict. It determines the very limits of our lives, and deaths. The body is an essential part of who we all are, but how often do we stop to think about it? Our Fun Palace is run by local PhD students from the arts and sciences, excited to explore and share their cutting edge research on the body through playful activities, artworks and experiments. Come prepared to think, and, more importantly, to have fun!

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My session will look at imaginative ways of embodying the universe, from the science of how we contain ‘star stuff’ from the Big Bang to how our imaginative exploration of these ideas alters how we see ourselves as part of the Cosmos.

‘We are Star Stuff: Embodying the Cosmos’
1st October, 12.00 – 14.00

Carl Sagan famously said, “We’re made of star stuff. We are a way for the cosmos to know itself.”

But what does that mean, in terms of science? How on earth are we made of bits of space from so far away? What makes us the same stuff as a star? How do we know we are “star stuff”?

Perhaps even more significantly, what does is mean to us? How do we envision ourselves as part of the cosmos? What does it feel like to be made of stars? How do we feel a part of stars and planets and nebula? And how do we creatively embody these heavenly bodies?

Through some very fun and also informative activities, we’ll be talking about the basics of what “star stuff” is, in terms of science, and then we’ll take inspiration from what we’ve learned to “embody” different bits of the galaxy that we connect with, both through art and writing. We’ll even look at some poems and literary passages that play with the idea of embodying a star, a supernova, or the moon.

In small groups, using paints and paper, poster board and markers, and various other decorative elements (such as hair chalk and body glitter), we’ll create wearable items that help us embody the big, fiery, fun and beautiful bits of the universe. Members of the group will also work together to write a poem or short paragraph that describes what it is like to be a nebula, a star, as comet, or any other “body” they like. We’ll show & tell our star stuff!

The hope is that this will encourage the general public to engage more with astronomy and cosmic science as well as have great fun using creative outputs to reimagine themselves as embodying part of the larger cosmos.

Learn more about Fun Palaces here.

Find out more about the day’s activities here! 

The SouthWest Poetry Tour – The Enemies Project

I’ll be performing in collaboration with UK poet Jinny Fisher alongside an excellent selection of other amazing poets for the Bath date of the SouthWest Poetry Tour. 6th August 2016, 7 pm doors/7:30 pm start. Entrance free. It’s a Saturday night — come on out and make it a memorable evening!!

In our collaboration we’re exploring themes of identity and gender as well as science and cosmology. It’s great fun and we’re looking forward to performing. I’m also looking forward to being in the audience, as the lineup looks stunning.

And a big thank you to The Enemies Project for inviting me to perform!

Appearing 6th August:

Camilla Nelson & SJ Fowler
JR Carpenter & Annabel Banks
John Hall & Matti Spence
Matthew Robertson & Andres Anwandter
Carrie Etter & Claire Crowther
Fay Stevens & Alyson Hallett
Miranda Barnes & Jinny Fisher
Siegfried Baber & Isabel Galleymore
Tom Cook & Bart Breathnach
Lucy English & Paul Hawkins
Beverley Ferguson & Roz Mascall

Speaking of Research: My talk at BRLSI 24 May 2016

Poster-Speaking of Research- Dual Flame-24 may 2016-2

If you are in the UK, and happen to be in or near Bath in May, please consider yourself invited to my speaking engagement at the BRLSI on 24 May 2016. The event begins at 7:30 p.m., and I will be discussing my PhD research that I have been working on for the last several years at Bath Spa University. I’m excited to share with all of you what I feel is an important intersection in the written word of poetry–that of science and the spiritual coming together to converse.