World, Composed (reading by Bivens Occasional Lecturer Jessica Reed)

World, Composed

Jessica Reed

Thursday, March 14 at 5:00pm

Belk Library and Information Commons, room 114

Refreshments will be served.


The University Libraries at Appalachian State University presents World, Composed, a reading by poet Jessica Reed as part of the 2019 Bivens Occasional Lecture on the Scholarship of Books and Readings.


Jessica Reed’s first collection of poetry, World, Composed, takes exquisite aim at the universe of physics in all its complexity. Hers is a voice of scientific authority and poetic innovation, in literary conversation with the ancient poet Lucretius, who first explored the existence of atoms in verse.


Poet Amy Newman says that Jessica Reed “explores with lyric beauty and patient observation the seemingly counterintuitive relationship between solidity and probability.” Poet and essayist Marianne Boruch characterizes this collection as “a celebration of the visible and invisible,” and writes that Reed has a “compelling, near x-ray vision.” And poet Bin Ramke, who declares that Reed’s voice “causes new energies to arise in language,” describes World, Composed as “a new but already necessary book.”

Jessica Reed has an MFA in Poetry and a BS in Physics, and is currently teaching a year-long seminar at Butler University on physics and the arts. Her poetry and non-fiction has appeared in ConjunctionsNorth American ReviewCrazyhorseColorado ReviewBellingham ReviewIsotope: A Journal of Literary Nature and Science Writing; and elsewhere. She taught at Scottsdale Community College in Arizona; Ivy Tech Community College in Indiana; and for the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth, where she designed special writing courses, such as “Writing Workshop: Where Art Meets Science.” She introduced her science poetry curriculum to a summer program for female high school students in Dammam, Saudi Arabia as well as a co-ed program in Beijing, China, both for the Center for Excellence in Education.


She and her husband live in rural Indiana, where they try to live a sustainable life with solar power, worm composting, and small flock of chickens.