James Applewhite’s Newest Collection Deals with Science through Poetry
BATON ROUGE – Throughout his long career, James Applewhite skillfully navigated the world of science through poetry. His new book, “Cosmos,” makes no exception, fearlessly exploring time and consciousness in relation to the universe as described by Big Bang cosmology — and as experienced by human beings in the everyday world. Applying experiences from his present-day life and also a multitude of memories from his childhood to scientific theories of the nature of the universe, the poet engages in a patient but relentless — and finally deeply rewarding — quest for a sense of meaning in a cosmos whose dimensions of space and time defy the human capacity to imagine.
In his quest, Applewhite suggests the continuing possibility of a crucial connection to the universe through our seemingly tiny, evanescent experiences here on planet Earth. The poems in Cosmos, available now from LSU Press, help value the human-related dimensions of being all the more as they are discerned against the cosmic vastness.
A prolific poet, Applewhite was inducted into the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame in 2008 and is professor emeritus in creative writing at Duke University. He has received the Associated Writing Programs Contemporary Poetry Prize, the Jean Stein Award in Poetry from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, and a Guggenheim Fellowship in Poetry.