On 17 June 2019, at ‘That Poetry Thing that is on at Smiths every Monday’ (Smith’s Alternative, in Canberra, ACT), the editors of the journal Not Very Quiet (online journal for women and poetry) hosted an evening of poetry and science in recognition of the fiftieth anniversary of the Moon Landing, and World Environment Day (celebrated on 5 June), and to acknowledge the many women involved in space exploration and science more generally.
Titled Poetry. Science. Women: Celebrating the Amazing, the event featured commissioned poetry that celebrates the intersection of women, science and poetry, with some of the eminent local women scientists from Canberra and the region invited to read the poems, after introducing them with a commentary that gave an insight into the readers and into their assigned poem. The scientists shared their experiences of reading and getting to know the poem. This initiative provided the audience with often thought-provoking, insightful and personal readings of discoveries. Often the commentaries benefited from the scientific method, and each reader’s noted field of expertise. It brought together poet and scientist to illuminate the ways in which people in both fields use the same techniques of careful observation and creativity to come up with new ways of thinking about the world. This was a unique event.
Moya Pacey and Sandra Renew, editors, Not Very Quiet