I have had the pleasure of talking to the inspiring Ellie Turpin, creator of the curious ‘Ada’s Poetry Engine.’
A fellow poetry lover, a recovering researcher and a full time mother, she had to spread the word of this intelligent piece of scientific engineering using code.
Aditi: Ellie, you are a busy lady! Thank you for giving us your time…please enlighten us all on this curious coding ‘poet’!
Ellie: This is a fascinating piece of engineering that was for the Festival of Science. Being a scientist, I never thought science and the arts could work in cohesion together.
However, having been an audience member of the performance arts that is prominent in Nottingham, such as the Nottingham Poetry festival, I was sure the two would get on!
Aditi: How does your marvellous coding engine work Ellie?
Ellie: The engine is inspired by Ada Lovelace of Nottingham, daughter of Lord Byron.
I wanted the poets and the scientists to work together, so I created my engine so that anyone who submitted a poem, or a phrase, the engine would re-mix the poem and it would come out with something different! This would be done by using algorithms.
Aditi: How were you inspired to start your journey into creating this unique project?
Ellie: We work with ‘Ignite Future’, a company in Nottingham that pushes young people to be architects of their own learning, to enable pupils to be artists, mathematicians, and of course scientists. So we work with schools and young adults , to promote literature , poetry, and technology collectively. I wanted to expose young people to performance poetry and science.
Aditi: I work in primary education myself and as a fellow performance poet, I heartily and happily approve of such a creative, upcoming project. If you had to meet a poet, dead, alive, or local, who would you choose and why?
Ellie: Have you heard of a woman called Debris Stevenson? I love her poems that empower women, promoting equal rights and feminism. She has performed a poem along the lines of ‘Girl with the Tattoo’. She promotes confidence for women’s bodies. I also respect and love Hollie Mcnish, a female poet who writes about such detailed topics in such a positive yet realistic manner.
Aditi: I can wholeheartedly agree Ellie; being a humble poet myself, they are phenomenal.
If you had to choose a scientist’s work, that you think motivates, empowers and protects our next generation, who would you choose and why?
Ellie: That’s an easy one! Rosalynd Franklin. She is such a pioneer! She was instrumental in discovering the molecular structure of DNA, her X-Ray photographs were fundamental to unlocking these ‘building blocks’ of life. Without her, there wouldn’t have been such accurate evidence of our DNA, or our children.
Aditi: Thank you so much Ellie, its been fabulously inspiring to talk to you!