R179. Beautiful Mysteries: Science in Fiction and Poetry

Liberty Salon L, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level Four
Thursday, February 9, 2017
12:00 pm to 1:15 pm


Einstein said, “The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science.” In search of those mysteries, poets and fiction writers mine the revelations and riddles of science to better understand the human condition. This panel will explore why botanists, astronauts, and climatologists populate the pages of modern literature; how writing advances ecological awareness; and how science is a metaphor and a lens to decode our beautiful universe.



Robin Beth Schaer’s debut, Shipbreaking, was named one of BuzzFeed's best poetry books and best literary debuts of 2015. She has been a fellow at Yaddo, Djerassi, Saltonstall, and MacDowell. Her work has appeared in Tin House, Bomb, the Paris Review, and elsewhere. She teaches writing in New York City.

Amy Brill is the author of The Movement of Stars and a 2015 NYFA fiction fellow. Her fiction and essays have been appeared in One Story, The Common, Guernica, and several anthologies, and she has been awarded residencies at Millay Colony, Jentel, the American Antiquarian Society, and elsewhere.

Martha Southgate’s fourth novel, The Taste of Salt, was named a best novel of the year by the San Francisco Chronicle and the Boston Globe. Her New York Times Book Review essay "Writers Like Me," is included in Best African-American Essays 2009. She teaches fiction in the MFA program at Vermont College of Fine Arts.

Naomi Williams is the author of the novel Landfalls, a finalist for the NBCC John Leonard First Book Award. Her short fiction has appeared in many journals and garnered a Pushcart Prize. She has an MA in creative writing from UC Davis and codirects the reading series Stories on Stage Davis.

Camille Dungy


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center