Dr. Illingworth & Mr. Simpson & Chicago Botanic Garden

We are in Chicago - although Sam's suitcase decided to have an extended stay in Philadelphia on the way. I'm not surprised, given that it's 0 degrees and snowing here! The blanket of white does make Chicago Botanic Garden look magical, though we were hoping for the green and bloom of spring-time. Anyway, Sam has been reunited with his clothes now so let's tell you what we're up to in Chi-Town: Dr. Illingworth & Mr. Simpson have been brought over to run our science-poetry mash-up project Experimental Words as part of the Garden's Unearth Science Festival.

Yesterday we met all the participants for the first time. After introductions to the work of the scientists and the art of the poets, there was a happily energetic atmosphere in the room. Buzzing with words and ideas, we paired everyone up and challenged them to speed-write a new poem. We'll be sharing those this week as there is some impressive stuff. A fantastic start - and the show on Friday evening promises to be superb - get your tickets here!

Poets and scientists: assemble! And look at the camera... hello? Hello?!

Poets and scientists: assemble! And look at the camera... hello? Hello?!

Sam and I were then shown around the Garden - an incredible place of conservation, learning, and beauty. We're poets-in-residence on Saturday and Sunday: running poetry workshops and performances at the Festival - and if you can't make it to the Garden itself, then you can always take part in our crowdsourced poem! Simply write a few words about EARTH and NATURE - and then either tweet with the #unearthedpoem hashtag or submit through this link, and we'll cut them into the poem. Looking forward to reading your words!