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In this episode, Krystle speaks with Alicia Sometimes about her new poetry book Stellar Atmospheresa collection that interweaves the scientific, the literary, and the personal. Sometimes’s lyrical yet accessible poems give musicality to cosmic ideas and remind us, in the best way, of our smallness.
About Alicia Sometimes:

Alicia Sometimes is a writer, award-winning poet and broadcaster. She's given a TEDx talk, edited a national literary journal, and done breakfast radio with the ABC. She's performed her spoken word all over Australia and internationally. You can find her poems in many respected publications, including Best Australian Poems, Best Australian Science Writing, Overland, The Age, and Griffith Review.

About Stellar Atmospheres:

Most influential in the writing of Stellar Atmospheres were Sometimes’s dialogues with scientists at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Particle Physics at the Terascale (CoEPP), the ARC Centre of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discovery (OzGrav) and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Dark Matter Particle Physics (DMPP). In collaboration with these organisations, Sometimes explored gravitational waves, particle physics and dark matter. The poet’s research with OzGrav culminated in the co-creation of Particle/Wavea planetarium show with other artists and scientists, with a selection of these poems featuring in the Stellar collection.

In Stellar, Sometimes expresses her appreciation for the old science books (mainly from the 1800s) she pored over as a Virtual Writer in Residency for Manchester City of Literature and Manchester Literature Festival, accessed through the Portico Library.

In 2023, Sometimes completed the Australian Network for Art & Technology (ANAT) ‘Synapse’ Residency in collaboration with prominent astrophysicist Professor Tamara Davis (AM) at the University of Queensland. The project explored distance, mapping, composition and the measurement of the universe through the practices of language, contextualisation and symbolism. Sometimes explains that one of the poems in Stellar was written during this time, and that several more conjured at that time will emerge this year.

Experience a reading of Alicia's poem Constellation Rifts, written in response to having breast cancer in late 2022 here.

Stellar Atmospheres is available from Cordite Books and by request from your local bookstore.

Find Alicia:

Alicia Sometimes



Listen to Alicia on the ABC's Science Friction podcast on ABC ListenSpotify, Apple and wherever you find good podcasts.

About Krystle Marie:

Krystle Marie is a mixed, neurodivergent sort-of writer based in Meanjin. She’s thrilled to be interning with SWN as a soon-to-be graduate of UQ’s Master of Writing, Editing and Publishing program. She's currently into Japanese-language immersion. She's always into noise-cancelling headphones.

Link to transcript here.