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PASSION AND PRECISION: Ruth Padel and Rachel McCarthy


Kindly sponsored by Sarah Greenhall and Paul Zuckerman

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Two great friends, two extraordinary writers, one fabulous reading with Rachel McCarthy who is a rare species, a leading climate scientist and physicist but also a poet; and Ruth Padel braids science into her poetry alongside explorations of migration, conflict, music and conservation. Both are passionate about poetry and their poems are passionate about precision.

RUTH PADEL has published ten poetry collections, many of which have been shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot, Forward or Costa Prizes, including her most recent, learning to Make an Oud in Nazareth (Chatto, 2014 – shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize). Highly acclaimed for her nature writing in her novel, Where the Serpent Lives, and her memoir of tiger conservation, Tigers in Red Weather, she also writes and presents BBC Radio 4’s Poetry Workshop. Her awards include a British Council Darwin Now research award, and First Prize in the National Poetry Competition. She is Poetry Fellow at King’s College London, Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and Council Member for the Zoological Society of London. Ruth won the National Poetry Competition in 1996 with her poem, ‘Icicles Round a Tree in Dumfriesshire’.

RACHEL MCCARTHY is a British scientist, poet and broadcaster. She graduated from Durham University in 2006 with double first class honours in Physics and Chemistry and went on to join the Met Office, becoming one of its senior climate scientists in record-time. In 2014, aged 30, she was hand-picked by the Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy as marking 'one of the brightest new voices in British Poetry' for her first pamphlet Element. Her new multimedia poetry show, Alphabet of Our Universe - telling the very human stories behind the periodic table - was picked by The Guardian as one to watch for 2016.

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