Commentary, Events, New Series

The Big Bang: Poetry & Science

cover art by Amanda Knowles

Poetry Northwest presents The Science Issue

The editors of Poetry Northwest are pleased to present the Spring-Summer 2012 edition of the magazine, a special theme issue exploring the intersections of poetry and science.

As languages approaching the mysteries of existence and advancing the limits of human understanding, poetry and science have more in common than is commonly believed.The Science Issue presents a variety of poets who engage directly and indirectly with the sciences—from astrophysics and quantum mechanics to geology, botany, ornithology, and marine biology. It includes poets who are also scientists, like Katherine Larson (a molecular biologist, and recent Yale Younger Poets Prize and Kate Tufts Discovery award winner) and Amit Majmudar (who serves in the honorable tradition of the poet-physicians). It also includes a meditation on poetry by historian of science and University of Puget Sound professor Mott Greene. Featured writers include: Linda Bierds, Alison Hawthorne Deming, Timothy Donnelly, Forest Gander, Amy Greacen, Bob Hicok, Richard Kenney, Katherine Larson, Sarah Lindsay, and many more.

“I’ve always taken a deep interest in the sciences—biology, astronomy, and physics in particular,” says editor Kevin Craft. “And I’m fascinated by the representational overlap between poetry and science: how each serves as an image or model of realities difficult to perceive in any other terms. Also their common capacity to be profoundly misunderstood in the public arena, where nuance and complexity never fare well. With our spring issue, we have a chance to clarify the conversation on both accounts.”

Poetry Northwest will celebrate the launch of the new issue with two events: The Big Bang features readings by Katherine Larson and Richard Kenney and hard science by the Vis-à-Vis Society—Wednesday, May 9, 8 pm, Liberty Bar, 517 15th Ave. E., Seattle, WA.

The annual Spring Symposium explores the intersection of poetry and science, through panels, talks, exhibits and readings, on Thursday, May 10, 1 – 4:30 pm, at the Port of Everett Waterfront Center. Full schedule below.

Thanks to the generous sponsorship of the Everett Cultural Arts Commission, all events are FREE and open to the public.

Established in 1959 by Carolyn Kizer, Richard Hugo, and others, Poetry Northwest is the region’s oldest literary magazine. Poetry Northwest is distributed by Ingram and Small Changes and is available by subscription or individual purchase at newsstands and bookstores around the country. The Science Issue is the fifth issue published under current editor Kevin Craft.

Schedule of Events:

Wednesday, May 9, 8 pm – 10 pm:
The Big Bang
featuring the Yale Younger Poets:
Katherine Larson & Richard Kenney
plus the Vis-Ă -Vis Society
Liberty Bar – 517 15th Ave. E., Seattle, WA


Thursday, May 10, 2012, 1:00 pm  – 4:30pm

Poetry & Science: A Symposium

ORCA/Port of Everett Waterfront Center
Blue Heron Room
1205 Craftsman Way, Everett, WA


1 pm: WELCOME: Kevin Craft, Editor Poetry Northwest

1 pm – 3:30 pm: Science Fair with the students of ORCA

1 pm – 2:00 pm: READING/PRESENTATION: A Northwest Botany of Desire

Amy Greacen and Fayla Schwartz

2:15 – 3:15 pm: PANEL: Model Realities: Science in Poetry & Poetry in Science

Kevin Craft, Amy Greacen, Mott Greene, Richard Kenney, Katherine Larson

3:30 – 4:30: READING [Sci-Po]: Katherine Larson and Richard Kenney


For more information visit