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A Responsibility to Awe (2e)

Rebecca Elson

Edited by Anne Berkeley, Angelo di Cintio and Bernard O'Donoghue

A Responsibility to Awe
10% off all versions
Categories: 21st Century, American, Canadian, Women
Imprint: Carcanet Classics
Edition: 2nd
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Available as:
Paperback 2e (160 pages)
(Pub. Sep 2018)
9781784106553
£12.99 £11.69
eBook (EPUB) 2e Needs ADE!
(Pub. Sep 2018)
9781784106560
£10.39 £9.35
eBook (Kindle) 2e
(Pub. Sep 2018)
9781784106577
£10.39 £9.35
Digital access available through Exact Editions
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  • Description
  • Author
  • Reviews
  • Rebecca Elson's A Responsibility to Awe reissued as a Carcanet Classic
    Featured on The Telegraph's Christmas Books 2018 


    A Responsibility to Awe is a contemporary classic, a book of poems and reflections by a scientist for whom poetry was a necessary aspect of research, crucial to understanding the world and her place in it, even as, having contracted terminal cancer, she confronted her early death. Rebecca Elson was an astronomer; her work took her to the boundary of the visible and measurable. ‘Facts are only as interesting as the possibilities they open up to the imagination,’ she wrote. Her poems, like her researches, build imaginative inferences and speculations, setting out from observation, undeterred by knowing how little we can know.


    Rebecca Elson
    REBECCA ELSON was an astronomer. Her principal work focused on globular clusters, teasing out the history of stellar birth, life and death. Born in Montreal, Quebec, of Canadian and US parents, she studied at Smith, St Andrews, and the University of British Columbia. She took her PhD at Cambridge, where she ... read more
    Bernard O'Donoghue
    Bernard O'Donoghue teaches Medieval English at Wadham College, Oxford,and has published seven books of poems, including Gunpowder, which won the Whitbread Prize for Poetry in 1995, and his Selected Poems (Faber, 2008). His verse translation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight was published by Penguin Classics in 2006. ... read more
    'If Stephen Hawkin's last book opened your eyes to science writing, Rebecca Elson's reissued A Responsibility to Awe will open your heart to it.'
    Tristram Fane Saunders, The Telegraph
    'With great poignancy, she shows us the world through the eyes of a human being faced by her finite time.'
    The Economist Books of the Year, 2001
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