• Jonathan Vos Post and Kathabela Wilson.

      Jonathan Vos Post and Kathabela Wilson.

      An interview with Jonathan Vos Post, a sensitive poet, artist, teacher, scientist, and prolific writer.

      By Kathabela Wilson

      A microscope on the poet

      Jonathan Vos Post with artwork.

      Jonathan Vos Post with artwork.

      You have told me you are inspired by “people, nature, mathematics, and the sciences”. It is such a fascinating and lively mix, how did it happen and where did it lead?

      My parents were book editors in New York City. When I was small they had me read the NY Times aloud to them at the breakfast table! My Mom even paid me a quarter dollar for each Shakespeare sonnet I’d memorize. My parents and their work brought me face to face with many world famous authors. We lived in Brooklyn and from the table we could see the Manhattan skyline and the Statue of Liberty. These are the everyday sights live in the windows of my mind and heart mixed with memories. Most of my poems have a sense of place, Brooklyn, New York, Amherst Massachusetts, Seattle, Los Angeles, and… various Moon Bases, Mars bases, and interstellar destinations in my fiction.

      A telescope on the poet

      I know recently you have been working on some amazing artwork, fascinating collages and “illuminations” – Tell me how they work?

      The last few months I’ve created over a hundred “Illuminated Meta-sonnets” — often composed with multicolored Sharpie sketchings on the fronts or backs of snail-mail envelopes, working the stamps or postage marks into the graphic design. In this way I feel a merging of my poetry and art, rising from the oldest printing traditions and into the future, many have current events and science fiction themes, along with mythological references.

      Pulse of the poet

      A collage sample of Jonathan Vos Post artwork.

      A collage sample of Jonathan Vos Post artwork.

      You mention being inspired by people, who are those along with your parents, who have inspired you, and also I know you have a tenderness for animals?

      From morning to night I have an inclination to go from one literary thing to another, like a squirrel, as you say, Kathabela. In that way the animals also inspire me. I include the dogs I have loved– one I recently lost to old age, and small one that is my companion now. He even attended a poetry workshop with me not too long ago.

      My wife, Christine, a brilliant scientist herself, inspires me. Also I am fortunate to have my “extended family”. These are the authors, editors, publishers, owners of department stores which sold books and sponsored literary events, and my 100+ co-authors. Among these, amazingly I am honored to include Professor Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Sir Arthur C. Clarke, Robert Anson Heinlein, and Caltech’s Physics Nobel Laureate Richard Feynman.

      Satellite on the poet

      Jonathan Vos Post reciting his poetry at Storrier-Stearns.

      Jonathan Vos Post reciting his poetry at Storrier-Stearns.

      A poet and a scientist is such an exciting blend, both are paths of discovery, how have they blended for you, and where do they lead?

      I’m a Caltech alumni, I’ve taught and written in the fields of anatomy & physiology, astronomy, biology, chemistry, cybernetics, economics, geology, history, philosophy, psychology, oceanography, sociology, and mathematics. Then I’ve continued on to science fiction. I’ve published novels, novellas, plays, screenplays, and I am constantly writing and publishing my poetry. Some of my most inspired moments have been in Asian Gardens, especially our local Storrier Stearns Japanese Garden. There time extends and deepens. I slow down along with it, writing in small phrases. For me it is all connected, the vitality and wealth I feel in the natural world, psychological space, and outer space!

      “Dog Buries Baseball”

      By Jonathan Vos Post

      Dog finds baseball
      in English Ivy
      picks it up
      talks to it; on slope
      tries to bury it
      strides to flat ground
      deep in pine needles
      buries the baseball
      covers the hole
      seems very pleased
      It shall emerge
      in the 2030 Flood
      while Heinlein City
      began the Lunar League

      10:15 a.m.
      Friday, February 27, 2015
      2 Tankas + 1 Quatrain = 1 Sonnet


      ! History of Science Poetry by Jonathan Vos Post. Jonathan lists his teachers and influence  in this “Genealogy”.

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        • Kathabela Wilson

          Kathabela Wilson is a local poet/writer/artist and musician. Her Poets Salon has become an international respected must read in the poetry world. She's the creator and host of the Pasadena-based group, “Poets on Site.”

          Colorado Boulevard is your place for enlightening events, informative news and social living for the greater Pasadena area.
          We strive to inform, educate, and work together to make a better world for all of us, locally and globally.

        • Latest posts by Kathabela Wilson

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      1. Liyi Brunner says:

        Dear Sirs,

        Jonathan Vos Post is my late husband John Brunner’s old friend. I admire his essay he sent me about the last supper with John and me in Scotland. I tried to contact him without success. I would appreciate it if you could pass on my message to him.
        Also please tell him I have sent him a letter and documents by signing delivery this morning.

        Yours sincerely

      2. waldokojak says:

        One wonders how much of this is true.

      3. Alex Nodopaka says:

        So many famous high level people in Pasadena I am tempted to move there to bring the level down…lol

      4. susandiri says:

        hey, Jonathan, this interview was great to read! hope your back is feeling better! love your questions, Kathabela!

      5. Toti O'Brien says:

        How honored am I, to share some of Jonathan’s tapestry of knowledge in Kathabela’s poetry groups… Such richness I wish could be contagious!

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