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Danville writing instructor uses poetry to explore physics

Danville writing instructor uses poetry to explore physics

The scientific study of physics and the art of poetry may seem like pursuits that are worlds apart, but one local writer is pulling the two together in her new collection, World, Composed.

Jessica Reed works on her new collection of science-poetry which is slated to be published in late March. Photo by Chris Cornwall

Jessica Reed, Danville, uses a unique style of poetry called “science-poetry” to explore the complex concepts of physics with poetic verse. As a teacher, she uses it to bridge the cultural gap between science and the arts.

“In our culture, I think you are taught at a very young age that you are either a science person or an art person,” said Reed who has taught students from elementary all the way up to college. “When students believe that, they can shut themselves out from one or the other. I like teaching the marriage of the two because it lets that back in and allows them to re-experience that wonder they had as kids.”

Reed has an MFA in Poetry and a BS in Physics and is currently teaching a year-long seminar at Butler University on physics and the arts. Her teaching has even taken her as far as Bejing, China, and Dammam, Saudi Arabia.

As an educator, Reed’s work is a shift towards inclusivity as it allows non-physics students to experience some of the really weird stuff in the universe like dark matter.

“It’s fun to see their minds boggle; everyone should have access to that,” she said.

Her poetry and non-fiction have appeared in Conjunctions; North American Review; Crazyhorse; Colorado Review; Bellingham Review; Isotope: A Journal of Literary Nature and Science Writing; among others.

On March 28, Reed’s new work, World, Composed, will become available from Finishing Line Press. To order online, go to finishinglinepress.com/product/world-composed-by-jessica-reed/.

By Chris Cornwall

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