Applied Words: Unseen Worlds – An Art + Science Party

Once upon a time, Science lived in a tower all by itself.  It never really got to talk with its friends, Art or Literature.  Then one day, a magical organization came along (The Guild Literary Complex) that called out to Science’s big, bright tower, “Science, come out to play!”  Science flew down the tower stairs, reunited with its old friends and lived happily ever after.

Okay, so maybe we’re not exactly experts at writing fairy tales (we’re much better at non-fiction – really), but there’s some truth to our (ridiculous) attempt – recent years have seen science hopping out of silos and mingling with other fields in a bevy of interdisciplinary adventures, as it should, since science really does intersect everything.  In March, we’re incredibly proud to partner with our good friends at the Guild Literary Complex, which has been working for over 25 years to showcase Chicago’s incredible literary talent, for a shared installment of their monthly series, “Applied Words,” which I am thrilled to be guest curating this month.  Applied Words features a series of incredible local writers reading on a theme, and this month’s theme is “Unseen Worlds,” inspired by the secret worlds scientists encounter in our work.

The event pulls together an all-star cast of scientists and writers (some do both), highlighting the incredible cross-disciplinary talents that Chicago boasts.  “Unseen Worlds” stemmed from the experiences that we scientists often have while doing exciting research that relies on the incredible microscopes at area institutions (but few in the public get the chance to experience – although we’re out to change that!).  It’s easy to be captivated by the images that microscopes capture, and the idea that there are worlds that are visible far beyond what our naked eye is capable of visualizing is exciting to scientists and non-scientists alike (just check out the images interspersed in this newsletter!).

Beyond that inspiration, there are communities of people who can’t necessarily access science easily or are underrepresented in STEM, and we see the theme as an opportunity to highlight these communities and populations, understand the connection between science and social justice, and support their engagement and interest in science and math.  The theme also crosses disciplines, exploring how science and the arts and humanities intersect, and what happens when they do.

The evening will also give you the opportunity to be the scientist and try your own hand at microscopy at one of our five microscope stations, and win some fun scientific swag by guessing the real identity of a series of everyday objects as seen under electron microscopes.  Join us to engage both sides of your brain through science and the arts!

The Details:

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

7:30 PM

Schubas (3159 N Southport Ave, Chicago, IL 60657)

Free, 21+, No Pre-Registration Necessary, Red and Brown Lines to Belmont

Our Speakers:

Jotham (Joe) Austin, II received his BS in Biology from Penn State University-Behrend, but when not in the lab he was busy writing short stories and poems. He attended graduate school at Arizona State University, where he received his PhD in Botany. One could say his love of writing continued to blossom: Joe started reading his poems at coffeehouses and small venues around Tempe, AZ, and eventually formed a poetry/music combo with Robbie Roberson, director of Electron Microscopy. After taking a Postdoctoral position in Microscopy in Boulder, CO, he made his way to Chicago where he currently is Director of the University of Chicago’s Electron Microscopy Core Facility. Joe returned to creative writing after tearing his Achilles tendon, finishing his first novel, Pretty Small Things. He now knows the true meaning of rejection as he chases publication, but everyone loves his homebrew.

Paul Gorski   majored in biology and chemistry before taking a job as a technical copywriter. After coordinating his marketing department’s move to digital publishing in the early ‘90s, he moved on to develop and support digital publishing systems used by ad agencies, newspapers and publishers. Paul currently supports publishing workflows at the American Dental Association in Chicago. He also writes two weekly columns for The Rock River Times newspaper in Rockford, where he lives with his wife and children. Somewhere between Chicago and Rockford he pauses long enough to manage www.nwuchicago.org, the National Writers Union–Chicago website.

Vojislav Pejović (“voice-love peyovich”) is a neurobiologist by training and earns his living as a medical writer. In 2008, he published a critically acclaimed novel in his native Montenegro, and in 2010, translations of Charles Simic’s poetry in Serbo-Croatian. He also wrote a couple of movie scripts. His current project is a collection of stories in English and Serbo-Croatian. He lives in Evanston with his wife and their two sons.

Anne K. Yoder is a staff writer for the online literary magazine The Millions and is the co-editrix of Projecttile, a journal of nontraditional writing with a feminist bent. When she’s not dealing in words, she’s dealing in pharmaceuticals, legally. She’s a registered pharmacist in three states and she’s moonlighted as a hospital pharmacist for over ten years to support her writing habit. Her fiction, nonfiction, and criticism have appeared in Fence, Bomb, and Tin House, among other publications.


About the Guild Literary Complex

For over 25 years, the Guild Literary Complex has been a community-based literary organization presenting and supporting diverse, divergent, and emerging voices through innovative programs including performances and readings.

The Guild Literary Complex believes that vibrant literature contributes to society and community, and that people should have access to quality literary experiences that engage them with dynamic juxtapositions of voices and ideas.

Past programs have included The International Writers Exchange, Muslim Women Writers, The Wind Shifts: New Latino Poetry National Tour, Andrés Montoya as well as Cave Canem Literary Prizes (and other cohort residencies), and other author events/special programs.  Past presenters have included Gwendolyn Brooks, Octavio Paz, Adrienne Rich, Salman Rushdie, and many others.  Learn more about the Guild Literary Complex and signup for their mailing list and events at their website.

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