I am a writer, committed worrier and nostalgia obsessive with a fascination for all things historical. In 2018 I completed an MA in Creative Writing at Leicester University and I loved every minute of it. Since I completed my Masters I've been spending a lot of time working on my poetry. You can see a list of accepted poems on the right and please scroll down to see my books and Heritage funded writing projects...
My final Leicester Writer Visitor has a story to tell that is truly out of this world. Siobhan, a writer friend for many years, is more than qualified to tell the story herself so please give an astronomical welcome to Siobhan Logan:
Thanks to Jacob Ross for this picture
Next week I am joining scientists and astronomers to celebrate the Rosetta
space mission at the National Space Centre. Pinch me now. In all
honesty, I was rubbish at science at school. The Bunsen burners scared me, Physics
was the dark arts and the only bit I enjoyed was drawing diagrams. Yet as a
poet and storyteller I don't seem to be able to stay away. Why didn't they tell
me then that physics could explain rainbows and Northern Lights or take you on
astral journeys across the solar system?
So when the European Space Agency steered a space probe 317 million miles from Earth to land on the alien world of
a comet, I was on the edge of my seat. Watching Philae plunge into the
darkness, 'may-fly winged, fire-fly bright', I knew I wanted to write
about it. The drama of Philae's tricky descent, only to bounce out of sight,
was riveting enough. But then there were the extraordinary photo-shots of comet
67P's landscape that mother-shipRosetta captured. I'm quite
a visual writer and those black cliffs, empty dunes and mysterious sink-holes
had me mesmerised for months.
The other thing that hooked me is the ESA's preoccupation
with myth. They named their mission after the Rosetta stone that decoded
the language of Egyptian hieroglyphs. And they are promising to unlock our
solar system's secrets as comets are believed to be amongst the oldest bodies
left-over from its formation. As I researched the myths, I found more
parallels. The Egyptian version of astronomy revolved around the long, perilous
and cyclical journeys of the sun-god Ra, sailing his boat across our
skies by day and through the underworld at night. A wonderful analogy for
Rosetta's trip, dodging fierce jets of ice-dust and gas as the comet's orbit
brings it back towards the sun.
So here I am relishing this collaboration with local
scientists and preparing a 'mash-up' of poetry & physics, ancient myth and
modern science to enthral our audience. My poems will appear in the form of an
Egyptian scroll and we have a 'build-your-own comet demo'. Come join us! It's
on Tues. 1st September 7pm at the National Space Centre.
Leicester Astronomical Society welcome guests (£2 on door) but advise
pre-booking on their Facebook page here.
Siobhan Logan's prose/poetry collections Firebridge to Skyshore: A Northern
Lights Journey and Mad,
Hopeless and Possible: Shackleton's Endurance Expedition are both published by Original
Plus Press. Theyhave been performed at venues including the
British Science Museum, National Space Centre, Ledbury Poetry Festival and
British Science Festival.
Between a teaching day-job, she writes,
blogs, reviews, mentors other writers, offers workshops, performs, gives talks
and writes some more. In 2014 she led WEM's first-ever digital residency on
writing Letters to the Unknown Soldierat Paddington Station. Her latest
obsession is space: the race, the rockets, the final frontier …
Thank you so much for all your visits during this month devoted to Leicester writers. As I've already said, there are many, many more of us. It truly is an exciting place for wordsmiths to live. Next week I'll be back with my usual mix of work, life and thoughts. Have a good Bank Holiday weekend.