Created and hosted by writer Maria Popova, The Universe in Verse is a charitable celebration of science and the wonder of reality, winged with poetry and music.
This event is supported by the Simons Foundation and is part of its “In the Path of Totality” initiative.
Every spring since 2017, thousands of people have gathered in atoms to savor stories about scientific phenomena, discoveries, and forgotten visionaries from the history of science, paired with poems read by beloved cultural icons — musicians and writers, artists and astronauts, physicists and poets.
On the eve of the 2024 total solar eclipse, we will gather under Waterloo Park’s starlit skies to reverence the majesty and mystery of Earth’s most sublime experience of the cosmos. Maria will take us into the science of the Sun and the Moon, of gravity and relativity; the discoveries of Newton, Kepler, and Galileo; the stories of the historic eclipse expedition that catapulted Einstein into celebrity and of the forgotten woman who published the first popular science book on eclipses while editing Emily Dickinson’s poetry.
Punctuating the science will be poems old and new, from Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman to Hannah Emerson and Rita Dove, performed by a constellation of inspired and inspiring minds, including authors Rebecca Solnit, Roxane Gay, and James Gleick, On Being creator Krista Tippett, Radiolab creator Jad Abumrad, multidisciplinary artist Helga Davis, artist and Design Matters creator Debbie Millman, actor Natascha McElhone, cosmologist and saxophonist Stephon Alexander, poets Marie Howe and Ellen Bass, and musicians Joan as Police Woman and David Byrne. Crowning the evening will be a special music surprise.
Tickets are available on a pay-what-you-can system. Please consider donating the maximum you are able — all proceeds benefit a new Universe in Verse fund at The Academy of American Poets, supporting poets working with the materials of science.
General Admission – Pay What You Can – Unreserved Chair and Lawn Seating
- Custom Donation ($0 – $100)