Books for Independent Thinkers

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Poetry Book Society Recommendation.

Heidi Williamson’s fascination with science leads her to explore less usual territories for poetry – including mathematics, chemistry, and computer programming, as well as space travel, electricity, and evolution. The Northern Lights reach down beneath the London skyline, Darwin staggers across a heaving ship, Coleridge slumbers on to another dream, and The Travelling Salesman turns a calculator on us. The driving force throughout is a desire to understand the ‘astonishing state of possibilities’ in the world around and inside us.

“Heidi Williamson’s poems are about contact with the haunted world. She understands uncertainty and loss, as well as the trace loss leaves behind as memory, memory that acts like a Blitz incendiary waiting to ignite later in life.”
George Szirtes

"Dark, fairy tale-like poems tell of materials that are both transmuted and moulded by force. The ambivalence and violence evoked by these poems is analogous to that present in the fundamental science that shapes our universe."
Kelley Swain, The New Scientist

"This first volume of poems suggests that Williamson... has many more rich seams to mine... her fascination for all things scientific shines through."
Bernie Sheehan

Heidi Williamson was born in Norfolk in 1971, and has since lived in Stirling, Brussels and Salisbury. In 2008-09 she was poet-in-residence at the London Science Museum’s Dana Centre. Her poetry has appeared in numerous journals, including The Rialto, Smiths Knoll, Poetry News, Orbis, Mslexia, Smoke, The Interpreter’s House and Iota, and on Jackie Kay’s Poetry Society blog and Guardian Online. She was shortlisted for the Hamish Canham Prize and the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem in 2008, and a runner-up in the Mslexia Women’s Poetry Competition in 2007 and 2008. She lives in Wymondham.

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