PEER REVIEWED POETRY Dan Simpson and Dr. Sam Illingworth

‘Peer-Reviewed Poetry’ introduces, play-fights with, and eventually dismantles the idea that there is an insurmountable opposition between ‘perfect/cold’ science and ‘irrelevant/beautiful’ poetry. Co-opting the audience into this binary (we are invited to hold up two-sided flashcards to meaure our responses), Simpson the poet and Illingworth the physicist take turns reading excerpts from a lengthy canon of poetry - on science, and by scientists.

The extent of the tradition of renowned scientists doubling as poets is actually surprising for the uninitiated (Primo Levi a prime-o example, as well as poet/immunologist Miroslav Holub, but dating as far back as Erasmus Darwin’s paper in verse, The Botanic Garden), and invites us to consider how recent a development is the perceived division of science and art. Though we celebrate the celeb-science of Brian Cox, do we discourage real interweaving of empiricism and aestheticism in the individual?

An excellent recent example of the meeting of the minds of science and poetry is the Refracted Light anthology, edited by James Wilkes: twenty contemporary poets respond to Jackson Mac Low’s LIGHT POEMS – famously constructed through non-intentional compositional methods. (HM)

PEER REVIEWED POETRY, Dan Simpson and Dr. Sam Illingworth, Cowgatehead UpTwo(M), until Aug 9 (event passed). No Wheelchair or Level Access.

More on Dan Simpson:

More on Dr. Sam Illingworth:

More on Refracted Light poetry anthology:

Siddhartha Mukherjee on Primo Levi in The Guardian: