Monday, August 12, 2013

Poetry Monday: National Science Week Celebrates Poetry

It's National Science Week here in Australia and the government is celebrating by partnering with Australian Poetry in an inaugural Science Poetry Competition.  Poems need to have a  theme that explores scientific understanding and achievements across any scientific discipline.  The contest is open until the 23rd of August, and winners get $1,000, flights and accommodation in Canberra to attend the Prime Minister's Prizes for Science Dinner in October.  Aussies only I'm afraid.

If you want inspiration, look no further than the beautifully presented books Holding Patterns, Earthly Matters, and Law & Impulse which you can download free from the Science Week website. I might be a wee bit biased because I have some poetry included in the books ("Six Flavours of Quark" in Holding Patterns, and "10 Digits of e" in Law & Impulse) which were published during National Science Week 2010 by the Poets Union, but I also have to say that the poetry in these collections is superb.

To celebrate this year's prize, the National Office is publishing one poem a day from the books, and today's poem is the exquisite "The smallest articles of faith" by Fiona McIllroy (from Holding Patterns).  If you don't think that science and poetry go together, you haven't read good science poetry.  Rectify that right now by going straight over to the site and grabbing a copy of those books (or just reading the poem of the day if you're time strapped):

If you decide to enter the competition, good luck!

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