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Unweave a Rainbow

Keats HouseReading at Keats House it seemed only right to begin with ‘Newton Sees the Seventh Colour’, given that Keats accused Newton of destroying all the beauty of the rainbow by reducing it to a prism. ‘Philosophy will clip an Angel’s wings, / Conquer all mysteries by rule and line, / Empty the haunted air, and gnomed mine- / Unweave a rainbow… (from Lamia) Still much beauty in and around the house in Hampstead, including the garden where ‘Ode to a Nightingale’ was written. And a good Templar night had by all at the launch of Mark Fiddes’ surreal and witty iOTA shot pamphlet The Chelsea Flower Show Massacre.

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Ada Lovelace Day

lovelace letter to Faraday finding ada siteWith this year’s celebration of women in science, technology, engineering and maths coming up on Tuesday 14th October I’ve just come across some hand-written letters from Ada to Michael Faraday on the wonderful findingada.com.

Exciting to see, and these letters capture Ada in typically playful mood. Alongside talk of a scientific paper Faraday has shared with her and her analytical ambitions, Ada teases Faraday for his deeming of himself ‘a tortoise’ in comparison to her. ‘You have excited in my mind a ridiculous, but not ungraceful, allegorical picture, viz: that of a quiet demure plodding tortoise, with a beautiful fairy gambolling round it in a thousand radiant & varying hues…’

See more & find out about this year’s Ada Lovelace Day celebrations at findingada.com

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Ada and Charles

ada - findingada.comThoroughly loving being drawn into the world of Charles Babbage & Ada Lovelace for my new project, the drama The Difference Engine. Drawn together by a shared passion and drive to imagine what if…, the irascible middle-aged Victorian inventor and the vivacious young Countess make unlikely friends. But reading letters exchanged by the pair during the 1830-40s their relationship really comes alive. Ada, novice mathematician hungry for knowledge, was intrigued by Babbage’s plans to build a huge and technically complicated calculating engine – a ‘machine that can think’. Beset by financial & personal troubles, Babbage came to see Ada as his ‘Enchantress of Numbers’, one of the few people who believed in his dream. Together, ahead of their time, they realised the possibility of the computer & computer programming. Although the dream of Babbage’s engine wasn’t realised in his lifetime it was finally built by the Science Museum in 1991. And the archive of letters and writings from Babbage and Ada has bequeathed us the ghost of their fascinating relationship – just waiting to be restored to life…

Picture from findingada.com, where you can find out more about Ada.

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Babbage’s Dream

model of analytical mill Science Museum
There’s something quite beautiful about this – the mechanism devised by Victorian inventor Charles Babbage for his envisioned calculating machine. Babbage’s dream began with his plans for the Difference Engine, then progressed to the Analytical Engine – the ‘machine that can think’. This is a section of the Analytical Engine mill, an experimental model still under construction at the time of Babbage’s death and now part of the Science Museum’s collection. Like all good science, this has an elegance that makes it also a work of art.

Find out more at http://www.sciencemuseum.org.

Picture Science Museum/Science & Society Picture Library

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Red Roaster Reading

Thanks to everyone who made the reading at the Red Roaster such good fun. Wonderful readings by Catherine Smith, previewing poems from her new collection Otherwhere, due out next month, John McCullough reading from his brilliant debut collection The Frost Fairs, and Abi Curtis, back in Brighton to launch her beguiling new collection The Glass Delusion just published by Salt. We had a great evening!

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Buy What it Means to Fall on DVD

Now available on DVD – the film of What it Means to Fall produced in collaboration with filmmaker Neelam Sidhar Wright.

First published by Tall Lighthouse:

In this striking debut sequence Kim Lasky presents a series of fragile contemplations on the theme of holding on and letting go. She has created a hypnotic movement of multiple scenarios, each concerned with falling. Her poetry is vivid, complex and painterly but always accessible.

‘What is so very striking about Kim Lasky’s poetry is the way it integrates so many perspectives and so many different kinds of language. What it Means to Fall eloquently demonstrates that poetry has the power to tackle the complexity of the postmodern world. This is contemporary poetry with a fine cutting edge.’  Peter Abbs

 

£7 including postage and packing. To order a copy contact me at kimlasky@btinternet.com.

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Inspiration Day

Creative Writing at Hastings Museum and Art Gallery

Saturday 16th June 2012  11am-4pm  £8

In need of inspiration? Let the museum’s collection spark ideas for you. What stories can you imagine behind an old Punch and Judy booth, wedding dolls from the 1800s, and intricate Victorian valentine cards? From Innuit artefacts (including a walrus gut parka!) to one of the earliest televisions, Baird’s ‘televisor’ from the 1930s, the collection spans continents and eras, and features lots of Hastings history.

The day will provide plenty of time for writing, and I’ll be on hand to guide you and discuss ideas individually. We’ll spend some time working in the stunning Durbar Hall, an atmospheric room of carved wooden panels and stained glass, originally created for the Colonial and India exhibition in London in 1886.

This day is intended to provide you with some space away from it all in an inspiring setting, and is suitable for writers at any level of experience working in any genre. Tea and coffee will be provided, please bring lunch.

Places are limited so please book in advance by emailing me at kimlasky@btinternet.com.

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Agenda Poetry Competition

I was thrilled to be chosen as winner of the Agenda poetry competition, it’s a real honour to be recognised by such a prestigious journal with its long history. Congratulations to the other prize winners on their great poems, which you can read in the latest edition of Agenda, Keenings.

We celebrated at the Christmas get-together and launch of Andrew NcNeillie’s collection Losers/Keepers – a lovely cosy evening in the Middle House with Christmas lights shining as the rain lashed down outside.