“Hirshfield, who curated the poems, describes the posters as ‘Human-sized poems,’ bringing forward the human side of science—how we think and feel with its knowledge, how its knowledge touches our lives in ways from galactic to microscopic.”
Dana Isokawa, Poets & Writers
Origins of Poets for Science
Partnering with Poets for Science founder, poet and environmental spokesperson Jane Hirshfield, the Wick Poetry Center joined the marchers at the Teach-In on the National Mall in Washington D.C. Today, Poets for Science is both an exhibit and a movement exploring the connections between poetry and science.
Poets for Science at the Universe in Verse, Pioneer Works, Brooklyn, New York, 2017
Poetry and science are allies, not opposites.
Both are instruments of discovery, and together they make the two feet of one walking. We can only weigh the full meaning of facts by how we feel about them. Feelings are meaningful and useful to us because they emerge from the truths of this shifting, astonishing world.
Observation and imagination, the microscope and the metaphor, the sense of amazement—you need all of them to take the measure of a moment, of a life. Poetry and science each seek to ground our lives in both what exists and the sense of the large, of mystery and awe. Every scientist I know is grounded in curiosity, wonder, the spirit of exploration, the spirit of service. As is every poet.
Jane Hirshfield, 2017
Press, Features, and Collaborators
Jane Hirshfield’s ten collections of poetry include The Asking (Knopf, 2023), Ledger (Knopf, 2020); The Beauty (Knopf, 2015), long-listed for the National Book Award; Come, Thief; After (shortlisted for England’s T.S. Eliot Prize); Given Sugar, Given Salt (finalist for the 2001 National Book Critics Circle Award); The Lives of the Heart; and The October Palace. She is also the author of two now-classic books of essays, Ten Windows: How Great Poems Transform the World (Knopf, 2015) and Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry (HarperCollins, 1997), and has edited and co-translated four books collecting the work of world poets from the past.
Hirshfield’s interest in science and the ecological world has long infused her poems. She has been artist in residence for both a neuroscience program at UCSF and an experimental forest in Oregon’s Western Cascades. Her honors include The Poetry Center Book Award, the California Book Award, and fellowships from the Guggenheim and Rockefeller foundations and the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2004, Jane Hirshfield was awarded the 70th Academy Fellowship for distinguished poetic achievement by The Academy of American Poets, an honor previously held by such poets as Robert Frost and Elizabeth Bishop. In 2012, she received the Donald Hall-Jane Kenyon Prize in American Poetry, and was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. In 2019, she was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.
© 2015 CURT RICHTER
David Hassler is the Bob and Walt Wick Executive Director of the Wick Poetry Center which collaborated with Jane Hirshfield in 2017 to create the Poets for Science exhibit. He is the author or editor of ten books of poetry and nonfiction. His awards include Ohio Poet of the Year, the Ohioana Book Award, the Carter G. Woodson Honor Book Award, and two Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Awards. Additionally, he has co-authored articles on poetry, technology, and healing in the Journal of Palliative Medicine, the Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, and the Online Journal of Issues in Nursing.
Jessica Jewell is the senior academic program director for the Wick Poetry Center at Kent State University, where she also earned her PhD and an MFA. She is the author of four collections of poetry including Slap Leather, Sisi and the Girl from Town, Dust Runner, and Tender, Tender. She is also an editor of two collections: Speak a Powerful Magic and I Hear the World Sing.
Charles Malone works with writers in the community around Kent, OH through the Wick Poetry Center. He is the author of three collections of poetry, After an Eclipse of Moths (Moonstone Arts), Questions About Circulation (Driftwood Press), and Working Hypothesis (Finishing Line Press). He edited the anthology “A Poetic Inventory of Rocky Mountain National Park” with Wolverine Farm Publishing and a new anthology for Cuyahoga Valley National Park forthcoming with Kent State University Press.
Györgyi Mihályi serves as the Assistant Director of Marketing at the Wick Poetry Center. Holding an M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration with an Internationalization certificate from Kent State University, Györgyi earned her BA in English Literature from the University of Szeged and a BA in Business Administration from Kent State University. Currently immersed in her dissertation on Higher Education Administration at Kent State, Györgyi’s research focuses on the crucial theme of international students and their sense of belonging. Hailing from the enchanting city of Szeged, Hungary, Györgyi brings a global perspective to her work.
The Wick Poetry Center at Kent State University
The Wick Poetry Center at Kent State University, home to the award-winning Traveling Stanzas project, is one of the premier university poetry centers in the country. It is a national leader for the range, quality, and innovative outreach in the community.
The mission of Traveling Stanzas is to bring poetry to everyday lives by fostering meaningful conversations and encouraging new voices. The program offers people moments of pause to slow down and reflect on their lives, their communities, and to participate in a shared creative experience.
Each+Every is an independent design and development studio building brands, websites, applications, and environments. They focus on building collaborative relationships to create strategic, meaningful, and impactful design.