Leicester students create out of this world poetry

A stellar poem written by a Leicester student has been launched into cyberspace.

Fraser McIntosh, who studies English with Creative Writing in the University’s School of Arts, has been announced as the winner of a poetry competition, in conjunction with NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, for his poem, ‘VLA J2130 + 12’.

NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory at Harvard University is a telescope specially designed to detect X-ray emission from very hot regions of the Universe such as exploded stars, clusters of galaxies, and matter around black holes.

NASA Chandra has hosted results of poetry competitions organised by Dr Jonathan Taylor, Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing, for several years.

For his poem, Fraser McIntosh was inspired by a press release, ‘VLA J2130+12: Clandestine Black Hole May Represent New Population’, which revealed the true identity of a very quiet black hole around 7,200 light years from Earth: http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/2016/vla/

“VLA J2130 +12

Vlad, can I call you Vlad?

You must be quite the recluse

To elude us all these years.

Your song, your humble song

Has deceived our clever ears.

A Neutron star, a white dwarf, an ultra-cool dwarf star?

No, you are VLA J2130 + 12

We now know who you are.

You're very special, well... at least you will be,

Till we discover the other millions of you

Dotted around the galaxy.”

  • The NASA Chandra blog showcasing Fraser’s winning poem is available here
  • Runners-up for the award were students Alicia Saccoh, for her poem ‘Musicality: 10’, and Olivia Titherington, for her poem ‘The Sun and Her Children’. These poems are available here