Two British institutions — ESRC Genomics Forum and the Scottish Poetry Library — recently collaborated to bring genomics and poetry together, reports New Scientist's Kelley Swain. The two groups created a competition challenging the participants to "consider the inherent ambivalence of advances in genomic technology," Swain says, and the winners were selected this weekend from more than 200 entries. The winning poem, called "Forward Deck," was written by Sophie Cooke, who arranged the lines in such a way as to form the shape of a double helix on the page. It begins:
genetically wondrous crew
in your superfine cruising clothes.
Your perfections are various, yet
shrink away from death
against one sunlit rail. You sing
on a merry motor yacht
that plots a straight and simple course.
All the winning poems, as well as the honorable mentions, can be found here.