New Scientist reviews poetry: wow! Checking my email, I found a note from Sean Miller, editor of the anthology Riffing on Strings: Creative Writing Inspired by String Theory (Scriblerus Press). Turns out that New Scientist has reviewed our anthology — and their review was very positive! The review was posted on the New Scientist website: http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg19926652.800
Unfortunately, access require a subscription. If you *really* want to read the whole review, let me know, as I have a copy. For the rest of you, here is an excerpt:
Books to travel with: Riffing on Strings edited by Sean Miller and Shveta Verma
Reviewed by Amanda Gefter
From issue 2665 of New Scientist magazine, 16 July 2008, page 48
WHAT first drew me to physics were the words. Cosmos. Entanglement. Spiralling galaxies and stars gone supernova, dark matter and charmed quarks. Physics brims with linguistic magic. And once you peer beneath the words, you find ideas can possess a poetry more poignant than any turn of phrase. String theory may turn out to be wrong. It might not be testable and it might not describe the real world. But it does describe a world that’s undeniably poetic. Still, I’ll admit, when I picked up Riffing on Strings I was sceptical. Sure, the poetic building blocks are there, but creative writing and string theory? It’s got the potential to go horribly awry. So I was pleased to find such an eclectic, thought-provoking and entertaining collection of writing – perfect for toting along on travels in other dimensions. The book opens with Sean Miller’s introduction to string theory and its place in the arts, followed by a series of essays by acclaimed physicists. Michio Kaku’s piece on duality is especially informative. Then come short stories, poems and plays that show the myriad ways in which physics seeps into public consciousness, is absorbed by the artist and re-emitted as something entirely new.
The anthology Riffing on Strings includes my poem A Mapped Route to the Island of _________ which was inspired by the M.I.N.O.S. neutrino project taking place in northern Minnesota’s Soudan Mine. Here’s how the poem begins:
Was there fog? Can I blame my navigation errors
on an ordinary layer of interference — say the moon
was luminous at first, large as the eye of a lighthouse,
only clouds came later? Well, then, yes.
It is possible to paddle purposefully for hours
and still miss the shore…..