Kelley Swain

K Swain, photo by Marcos Avlonitis.

Photo by Marcos Avlonitis

Kelley Swain is a poet, writer, and educator living in London, England.

Her collections of poetry include the verse drama Opera di Cera, the collection Atlantic, and her first book, Darwin’s Microscope.

Her debut novel, Double the Stars, an historical fiction about the adventures of astronomer Caroline Herschel, is published this September. Kelley is editor of two poetry, science and art anthologies: Pocket Horizon, which gave her the opportunity to work with poet Don Paterson, and Whipple Museum publication The Rules of Form: Sonnets and Slide Rules.

To read about any of these books, go to the dedicated page, and for more information about each project’s development and launch, search the blog archives using the name of the book.

Kelley is lecturer in Humanities in Global Health for Imperial College London’s Global Health BSc, and lecturer in creative writing: poetry and science for the Imperial Horizons programme.

She was Poet-in-Residence at the Whipple Museum of the History of Science in the Department of the History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge, from 2009 – 2012, and is a Fellow of the Linnean Society of London.

Kelley was born during a the famous ‘Alberta Clipper’ cold snap of January 1985 in Westerly, Rhode Island, where she grew up climbing trees, clam-digging, swimming, and traipsing through the woods.

In 2007, she graduated from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College (now Randolph College) in Virginia with an honours degree in English with a focus in Creative Writing, and a minor in Environmental Studies. As well as majoring in English, in her senior year she was able to study biology, evolution, animal behaviour, zoology, and geology. That is the joy of a liberal arts education!

Inspired by the Swain family’s history of whaling on Nantucket, Kelley went on to complete the Munson Institute for Maritime Studies summer graduate programme at the Mystic Seaport in 2007, writing on the history of cetology in Moby-Dick.

She moved to London in late summer 2007 and decided to stay, despite the weather.

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