Poetry and Science: Ruth Padel, Lavinia Greenlaw and Emily Grosholz

Three poets discuss the value and practice of interweaving two distinct cultures. Speakers: Ruth Padel and Lavinia Greenlaw in conversation with Emily Grosholz

Ruth Padel is a poet, novelist and conservationist, who has explored natural science subjects in poetry and prose. Her poetry-prose book The Mara Crossing asks why do animal species migrate–and why do we? Ruth has also explored scientific themes in her poetry collection Darwin: A Life in Poems and in Tigers in Red Weather, about wild tiger conservation. Her tenth poetry collection Learning to Make an Oud In Nazareth was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize. She teaches poetry at King’s College London.

Lavinia Greenlaw has published five collections of poetry, including Minsk and The Casual Perfect, and several novels. She was the first artist-in-residence at the Royal Society of Medicine and wrote a poem marking the centenary of the Theory of Relativity for the Science Museum. She has made documentaries on the Arctic, the Baltic, Emily Dickinson, the darkest place in England and the solstices and equinoxes. She won the 2011 Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry.

Emily Grosholz is a poet, philosopher and literary critic. She teaches philosophy at Pennsylvania State University, where she specializes in philosophy of physics and mathematics. Her most recent scholarly book is Representation and Productive Ambiguity in Mathematics and the Sciences. She has recently been working on case studies in cosmology, population genetics, and number theory. Her seventh poetry collection, Proportions of the Heart, is a book of mathematical poems that also weaves in themes of emotion and family. She is an advisory editor for the Hudson Review, where she often writes literary criticism and travel essays.