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Special: The Universe in Verse livestream

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Brain Pickings

The Universe in Verse Livestream: April 28

Welcome

Hello, Blue! I am delighted to announce that although the laws of physics have enforced their cruel limitations on our space and The Universe in Verse sold out in a blink, Kickstarter has kindly donated a livestream. So you can tune in from anywhere in the world at 7p.m. EST on April 28:

LIVESTREAM LINK

Since we are donating all ticketing proceeds to the Natural Resources Defense Council, the hosts and peformers are all donating their time and talent, and this livestream is itself a donation, please consider joining the collective goodwill by making a donation to the NRDC yourself.

Full event description below – please enjoy this massive, many-peopled labor of love, into which I've poured my heart and soul, celebrating three things so dear to me: science, poetry, and the protection of nature.

The Universe in Verse

“The real wealth of the Nation,” marine biologist and author Rachel Carson wrote in her courageous 1953 protest letter, “lies in the resources of the earth — soil, water, forests, minerals, and wildlife… Their administration is not properly, and cannot be, a matter of politics.” Carson’s legacy inspired the creation of Earth Day and the founding of the Environmental Protection Agency, whose hard-won environmental regulations are now being undone in the hands of the current political administration. Carson was a scientist who thought and wrote like a poet. As she catalyzed the modern environmental movement with her epoch-making 1962 book Silent Spring, she was emboldened by a line from a 1914 poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox:

To sin by silence, when we should protest, makes cowards out of men.

After the success of last year’s inaugural event, I have once again joined forces with Pioneer Works and The Academy of American Poets to host The Universe in Verse — an evening of science-inspired poems read by artists, writers, scientists, and musicians, part protest and part celebration, with all proceeds benefiting the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Dedicated to Rachel Carson’s legacy, this year’s Universe in Verse celebrates the Earth — from the oceans and trees and volcanos to bees and kale and the armadillo — with poems by Maya Angelou, Adrienne Rich, Emily Dickinson, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Lucille Clifton, Dylan Thomas, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Elizabeth Bishop, Denise Levertov, Walt Whitman, and more, read by musicians Amanda Palmer, Zoe Keating, and Sean Ono Lennon, astrophysicists Janna Levin and Natalie Batalha, authors A.M. Homes and James Gleick, artist Maira Kalman, bryologist Robin Wall Kimmerer, and actors, writers, and directors America Ferrera, Anna Deavere Smith, and John Cameron Mitchell. Three of the great poets of our time — Jane Hirshfield, Marie Howe, and Diane Ackerman — will read their own work. Gracing the evening will be an original poem by Neil Gaiman, composed for the occasion, and a special music surprise.

LIVESTREAM LINK

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