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October Poetry-Science Cafe

Wednesday, October 24, 2018 - 7:00pm to 8:00pm
Natural History Museum of Utah | Swaner Forum

About the Field Work Program

Get your fill of science and poetry with this flourish to a familiar program. We have paired scientists and poets to explore topics together through the lenses of their respective disciplines. Join us for our first-ever Poetry-Science Café series and savor in a unique pairing that these experts have prepared in an informal, interactive café-style setting. Experts will dish out their take on a topic, scientific and poetic, as a pair in 20 minutes or less. After both pairs have presented, all experts will take the stage and engage the audience in a lively group discussion and Q&A.

The Poetry-Science Cafe is a part of Field Work: Aligning Poetry & Science, a multi-city hybrid art and science program aimed at fostering STEM learning through poetry. Under this unique project, Poets House, the 70,000-volume national poetry library in New York City, will work with Salt Lake City Public Library and the Natural History Museum of Utah as well as other institutions across the nation to engage broad audiences in a range of interactive programs that "humanize" the language of science through multiple collaborative language arts experiments.

Included in Museum admission, free to Museum Members and University of Utah faculty, staff, and students with a current U ID.
Light refreshments will be provided.

October Scientists & Poets

  • Christy Bills, Entomology Collections Manager & Poet Lance Larsen
  • Eric Rickart, Curator of Vertebrate Zoology & Poet Kimberly Johnson

Entomologist Christy Bills holds a moth in a lab at NHMU.
Scientist & Poet Bios

Christy Bills, NHMU's entomology collections manager, joined the Museum in 1998 and manages the insect collection that dates back to the 1890s, featuring insects from Utah, the Intermountain Region, and the world. Bills was an assistant to the collections manager for the insect collection for Utah State University Extension Office from 1996-1998. She received a B.S. in Biology in 1998 from Utah State University.

A close-up photo of poet Lance Larsen
Lance Larsen, former poet laureate of Utah, has published five poetry collections, most recently What the Body Knows (Tampa 2018). He has received a Pushcart Prize and an NEA fellowship. His essays have made the Notables List in Best American Essays six times. He teaches at BYU where he currently serves as department chair.  

A close up photo of Eric Rickart, a zoologist at NHMU.
Eric Rickart, NHMU's Curator of Vertebrate Zoology, has devoted more than 30 years studying the origins and preservation of biological diversity, both regionally and globally. His research has involved historical biogeography, community ecology, and evolution of mammals in island systems where geographic isolation makes the patterns of diversity more apparent.

A close-up photo of poet Kimberly Johnson.
Kimberly Johnson is a poet, translator, and literary critic. Her collections of poetry include Leviathan with a HookA Metaphorical God, and Uncommon Prayer, and she has published book-length translations of Virgil and Hesiod. Her poetry, translations, and scholarly essays have appeared widely in publications including The New YorkerSlate, and Modern Philology​. Recipient of grants and fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Utah Arts Council, and the Mellon Foundation, Johnson lives in Salt Lake City.

Presented in partnership with:


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