Quantum Physics, Biology, Genetics: How Three Women Use Science in Writing
With Madhur Anand, Erin Bow, Krista Foss, and Margaret Nowaczyk.
She blinded me with science…and creative writing!
Madhur Anand, Krista Foss, and Margaret Nowaczyk are in conversation with poet, novelist and science writer Erin Bow about how science informs their fiction, poetry, and nonfiction writing. Join us to explore how these three writers use science lyrically, creatively and intellectually without writing science fiction. We will consider the advantages (and disadvantages) of having scientific training, the limits of research, how scientific themes work in different forms, and the lyrical potential of the scientific lexicon.
Madhur Anand is the author of the book of poems, A New Index for Predicting Catastrophes, and the experimental memoir, This Red Line Goes Straight to Your Heart, both considered trailblazing in their synthesis of art and science. A New Index was a finalist for the Trillium Book Award for Poetry. This Red Line won the Governor General’s Literary Award for Nonfiction. Her second collection of poems is entitled Parasitic Oscillations. She is a professor of ecology and sustainability at the University of Guelph, and was appointed the inaugural director of the Guelph Institute for Environmental Research.
Krista Foss’ short fiction has appeared in Granta and has twice been a finalist for the Journey Prize. Her essay writing won the PRISM International creative non-fiction contest in 2016, has been featured in Best Canadian Essays. Her first novel, Smoke River, published by McClelland & Stewart (2014), won the Hamilton Literary Award. Half Life is her second novel.
Born in Poland, Margaret Nowaczyk is a pediatric clinical geneticist and a professor at McMaster University and DeGroote School of Medicine. Her short stories and essays have appeared in Canadian, Polish and American literary magazines and anthologies. She lives in Hamilton, ON, with her husband and two sons.
Erin Bow is an award-winning poet and novelist, whose honours include the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award, the CBC Literary Award for poetry, and a Governor General’s Award. She was trained as a physicist, and does science writing about things like black holes and quantum gravity. Her novels are written in her garden shed, in the rotating company of her novelist-husband, two joyfully creative tween-aged kids, and an unnerving number of shed spiders.