I’m taking part in a weekend of women talking about science at Wigtown. The Big Bang weekend is happening on 27-29 January and there’ll be talks on dark matter, astronomy and literature, deep sea exploration, the search for life on other planets and lots of other stuff. Also talking are Dr Amy Hofmann and Dr Maya Tolstoy, and the whole extravaganza is the brain-child of Jessica Fox (of ‘Three Things You Need to Know about Rockets‘ fame).
I have two poems, ‘Nowhere special’ and ‘Getting lost in the physics department’, in the new anthology ‘Umbrellas of Edinburgh: Poetry and Prose Inspired by Scotland’s Capital City’ edited by Russell Jones and Claire Askew, and published by Freight.
I’m reading from the House of Three poetry anthology at the Lit and Phil on Wednesday 23rd Nov, with other terrific poets including Margorie Lotfi Gill, Tessa Berring, Nalini Paul, and Katy Ewing.
I wrote a diary piece for today’s Scottish Review of Books, about my recent trip to Orkney to speak at the science festival there.
Here’s a round-up of some events I’m doing over the next few months:
- As part of the North Lanarkshire Encounters festival, I’m running a workshop on science as an inspiration for fiction writing – on 4th October in Airdrie Observatory (one of the few public observatories in the UK).
- I’m giving a talk on the hidden lives of scientists as part in the Hearth festival at Gladstone’s Library over the weekend of 29-30 October.
- I’m reading my poetry at the launch of the ‘House of Three’ anthologies at the Lit and Phil in Newcastle on 21 November.
A selection of my poems (including lots of previously unpublished ones) have just been published in a new anthology from House of Three (edited by Kevin Cadwallender). The other two poets in the anthology with me are Logie Fielding and Nalini Paul and there are two other volumes published at the same time. We’ll be doing launch events this autumn – more info soon.
Over the past year I’ve been an unofficial writer in residence at STIS – the science, technology and innovation studies unit in the University of Edinburgh. Most of the time that I’m there I spend quietly in an office, working on the novel-to-be. But I’ve also been talking to Dr Gill Haddow about her research on heart implants and their emotional impacts upon the people who receive them. These implants are both biological (such as valves from pigs) and mechanical (ICDs; implantable cardiac defibrillators). Do these devices make their recipients ‘cyborgs’? Are we made more or less human by non-human additions to our bodies? As a result, I wrote a short story ‘We would like you to listen to our hearts’ (as well as a commentary on the process of writing the story), and these are now posted on her blog; Animal, Mechanical and Me.
A few nice things coming up:
I’m taking part in an event at the Mitchell Library in Glasgow to celebrate National Reading Groups Day on Saturday 18th June.
And I’m giving a talk about astronomy in literature at the Birmingham Planetarium (so the talk will be accompanied by beautiful images) on 8 July – more details here.
My story ‘An Investigation into Love by Babcock and Wainwright’ was broadcast on Radio 4 recently and is still available. You may never look at a lab mouse the same way after this story… (It was first published on Lablit last year.)
My review of ‘Lois McMaster Bujold’ by Edward James is in this week’s TLS, and my review of ’15 Million Degrees: A Journey to the Heart of the Sun’ by Lucie Green is in this week’s Spectator. More reviews are in the pipeline…
And my own short story collection ‘The Need for Better Regulation of Outer Space’ has had a nice write-up in the latest Gutter magazine.