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Jack Cooper
 

Book cover for 'BREAK THE NOSE OF EVERY BEAUTIFUL THING' by poet Jack Cooper, published in 2023 by Doomsday Press
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About

Jack Cooper is a poet and science communicator with six years' experience in biomedical research.

 

His poems have been discussed on BBC Radio 4, commissioned by the Science Museum, translated into Czech and Romanian, taught in British schools, and performed at the V&A. 

He is the first poet-in-residence of Greenwich Park (with Friends of Greenwich Park).

He won the Society of Authors' Eric Gregory Award for 'Break the Nose of Every Beautiful Thing', which can be ordered from Doomsday Press and the Poetry Book Society.

Jack is keen to use poetry and prose for science communication. The Poetry Society's educational resource 'We Are Cellular' uses his poetry to explore cell biology and metaphor.

Jack has developed and delivered workshops and other poetic projects for the Science Museum, Imperial College London, BBC, V&A, Czech Centre London, and Oxford City Council, amongst others. 

 

He is always open for creative collaborations, having previously worked with classical musicians, graphic designers, and other poets.

Jack lives in London.

Photo credit: Olivia Da Costa

About
Book cover for 'BREAK THE NOSE OF EVERY BEAUTIFUL THING' by poet Jack Cooper, published in 2023 by Doomsday Press

Break the Nose
of Every Beautiful Thing

Curiosity drives Jack Cooper’s debut pamphlet. Drawing from his experience in biomedical research, Cooper finds severe beauty at a cellular level. A maggot is ‘a white wave without water’; mould in a student flat is ‘a firework display exploding in slow motion’. The joy of discovery is a common thread that ties queer desire and dissection to Gilgamesh and genetically-engineered squids. Just as an egg becomes a fly and a boy becomes a man, we witness a metamorphosis of the scientific to the abstract. In these poems, a body is never finished. 

Break the Nose of Every Beautiful Thing won an Eric Gregory Award in 2022. 

Available now from Doomsday Press

"The words are elegant and precise; Break the Nose of Every Beautiful Thing is as joyful in its imagery as it is thought-provoking in its abstractions. Cooper takes us on a voyage of life and love, leaving us contemplating our own journeys of self-discovery."

- Dr Helen Sharman, Britain's first astronaut

"Poetry and Science meet in the practice of close observation... Cooper treats us to thrilling poetry describing scientific subjects and procedures, and then turns his sharp eye and enchanting language to romantic, sexual, and familial relationships. Love, art, life: there is much waiting to be discovered in this illuminating work"

- The Poetry Book Society Bulletin

"The precision and perseverance of Cooper's descriptive eye are as particular as a microscope and further enriched with charges of emotion that strike at unexpected moments. The author's dissecting glare creates a condition of uncertainty; with each poem acting as a linguistic autopsy."

- Lily McDermott for The Poetry Review

"These are poems of learning, about both the self and the world around us, aglow with the bioluminescence of curiosity. Cooper's words have 'bloomed sleek and excessive / as an orchid's corolla'' on the page and in my mind, a heady scent that will tint the way I look at even the most everyday things - from Blu Tack to hoverflies - for a long time to come." 

- Ellora Sutton, author of Antonyms for Burial 

"It can be said that the power of poetry can be in its clashing of two unlike things and finding ways to connect the likenesses between them. In the case of Jack Cooper's Break the Nose of Every Beautiful Thing, this idea of poetry is constantly put to the test."

- Roger Robinson, author of A Portable Paradise

Selected Poems 

We practise anatomy

in the sweat of your single bed,

wanting to know every part of a person.

Ulna, patella, phalanges,

frenulum, philtrum, lunula;

language so sharp I can press it in you like a pin.

Here - this here

is a place I can love.

Demonstration

published in Ambit

Poems

Publications

Break the Nose of Every Beautiful Thing (Doomsday Press)

Jack's individual poems have been featured by the following platforms, magazines, and anthologies.

Platforms:

BBC Radio 4 (The Language Exchange), BBC Hereford & Worcester,

BBC CWR, Young Poets Network, Hour of Writes, Poetry Pea podcast

Magazines:

Magma, Ambit, Poetry News, Southword, revue Prostor, fourteen poems, Propel, Popshot, Under the Radar, Acumen, Poetry Birmingham, Stand, Tomis, The Alchemy Spoon, Interpreter's House, The Adriatic, The Oxford Magazine, Queer Grief Zine, Bright Brains, Right Hand Pointing, Salon of the Refused, Chatterbox, Unhomely, Hugh’s News, Poetry Kit, Fragmented Voices, HCE Magazine, époque press e-zine, bluebee magazine, Seen Zine #2, The ISIS, ASH, Cobalt, Kamena, Phenotype, The Swan, Cherwell, The Oxford Student, Seven Voices, notes, Blueprint zine, Two Play zine, Pharos, Are You Lost Yet

Anthologies:

HE SHE THEY US: Queer Poems, Re·creation, Hippocrates Awards 2021 Anthology, Doth Drip Make the Man, Ode to Code: Bletchley Park, Places of Poetry: Mapping the Nation in Verse, The Verve Anthology of Diversity Poems, Spirit of Fire and Dust, Alternative Truths, Life Plus 2 Metres, Forward Poetry: Mind Matters 2, Forward Poetry: Darkness Falls, Marsden the Poetry Village Anthology 2019, Human Rights: Poems from the Positive Images Peace Festival Poetry Competition 2019, Geopoetry 2020, ECHT anthology

Competitions

Winner, Eric Gregory Award 2022

Shortlisted, Bridport Poetry Prize 2023

Finalist, SFPA Rhysling Award 2024

Winner, The Poetry Society Members' Poems competition (Spring 2024)

Finalist, Gregory O'Donoghue Competition 2023

Official Selection, Ó Bhéal Poetry Film Competition 2022

Longlisted, National Poetry Competition 2017 

Inaugural winner, Middleton-Miller Award for most Promising Young Writer.

1st Place, Shout Out for the Covered Market competition (18-24 category).

1st Place, Young Poets Network White Space Challenge.

Joint 2nd Place, Hippocrates Prize 2021 Open Category.

2nd Place, Young Poets Network 10th Anniversary Challenge.

3rd Place, Pre-Raphaelite Society Competition 2020/21.

3rd Place, streetcake experimental poetry prize 2020 (18-23 category).

Commended, Verve Poetry Festival Competition 2019.

Prev pub
Projects
Projects

Proud to have worked with

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Example projects

Projects

Skyrim Special Edition: Creation Kit

Poetry pamphlet mod

To celebrate the 1st anniversary of his pamphlet's publication, Jack created a mod that allows PC, Xbox, and Playstation gamers to buy and read his pamphlet in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

The Poetry Society,
About Us

We Are Cellular

An educational resource written by Jack that uses his poem 'Micrographia, 1665' to explore cell biology and metaphor

London Arts-Based Research Centre

Keynote lecture

Jack gave an hour long keynote talk at the 'Science and Sensibility' conference, which explored the intersections between science and the arts. His talk was titled 'Curiosity is a dividing cell: The reciprocal use of poetry and science in public engagement'

V&A Museum

Summer of Sculpture

Jack conceptualised and delivered 3 hours of poetry workshops to an audience of young families and sculpture enthusiasts, guiding them through various activities that used the V&A's sculpture collection and the works of Edmonia Lewis as inspiration

Jane Scalabroni,
revue Prostor

Czech translations

Six of Jack's poems were translated into Czech by Jane Scalabroni for revue Prostor magazine, culminating in a performance together in Prague.

Science Museum,
The Poetry Society

Homage to Miroslav Holub

Jack wrote two poems that engaged with the life and work of Czech poet and immunologist Miroslav Holub, culminating in four performances at the Science Museum Late and a preceding panel talk

Imperial College London

Cell Poetry workshops

Jack conceptualised and organised 12 hours of poetry workshops for the Great Exhibition Road Festival, creating all resources and delivering them alongside volunteer scientists and poets. In total, ~300 poems were written by attendees.

BBC, Young Identity

BBC Words First

A search for the best emerging UK spoken word talent, culminating in a digital showcase

Friends of Greenwich Park

Poet-in-residence

From May 2024 to May 2025, Jack is poet-in-residence of Greenwich Park, one of London's eight Royal Parks. He will be writing new poets inspired by the park, delivering workshops, and performing, amongst other activities.

Science Museum,
Imperial College

Uni-verses Space Poetry

Jack conceptualised and organised 12 hours of poetry workshops for the Great Exhibition Road Festival, creating all resources and delivering them alongside volunteer scientists and poets. In total, ~700 poems were written by attendees

V&A Museum

Drip Maketh the Man

A poets collective responding to the V&A's Fashioning Masculinities exhibition, culminating in performances at the V&A Late and Great Exhibition Road Festival

Queercircle, 14 Poems

Queercircle workshop

Jack conceptualised and delivered a poetry workshop on using creative constraints to inspire new writing, for a class of ~30 people

Science communications
Prose

The Zero Pressure podcast is a relaxing conversation with those on the cutting edge of science and technology, hosted by Dr Helen Sharman, Britain's first astronaut.

Jack was Imperial College London's lead on the podcast for seasons one and two, and season three pre-production:

  • Proposing episode topics and guests

  • Co-writing scripts (lead or support depending on topic)

  • Live events founder and lead

  • Promotion co-lead

  • Booking guests co-lead

  • Studio recording lead

Episodes and events that Jack had creative control over include:​

  • Turning the Tide - Seabeds and the Future of Security (Spotify, Apple Podcasts)

  • Endurance: How Can We Protect the Polar Regions? (Spotify, Apple Podcasts)

  • 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea: Revealing Earth's Final Frontier - live at the Great Exhibition Road Festival (YouTube)

  • Protecting our poles: The fight to preserve Antarctica and the Arctic - live at the Great Exhibition Road Festival (YouTube)

Other projects include:

Uni-verses Space Poetry Workshops

Jack conceptualised and organised 12 hours of poetry workshops   for the Great Exhibition Road Festival, creating all resources and delivering them alongside volunteer scientists and poets.

In total, around 700 poems were written by attendees.

Homage to Miroslav Holub

Jack wrote two poems that engaged with the life and work of

Czech poet and immunologist Miroslav Holub, culminating in four performances at the Science Museum Late and a preceding panel talk. Jack accompanied his and Miroslav's poems with 

explanations of their scientific context.

ScienceWrite

The ScienceWrite programme, supported by The Royal Society, aims to help early-stage science writers from minoritised backgrounds advance their professional development. Jack is a member of the 2024 cohort.

A promotional poster for the Zero Pressure podcast, hosted by Dr Helen Sharman, Britain's first astronaut

Print - Selected Articles:

We Are Cellular

Educational resource produced for the Poetry Society

Uni-Verses: Space Poetry

Science Museum Group, Research & Public History Annual Review

Making space for poetry in science engagement

SWIPE SciComm

The festival merging science and art - and liberating them both

Jack was interviewed for this I, Science article

Nuclear solutions to a nucleic problem

Bang!

Colour perception: Do you see the same shade of red as I do?

Bang!

Bang! talks to... Dr Gavin Schmidt 

Bang!

CLARITY

Bright Brains, the British Neuroscience Association newsletter

Print - Editorial:

10th Anniversary Issue

Phenotype (Editor-in-Chief) 

Trinity Term 2018 Issue

Phenotype (Editor-in-Chief)

The Climate Change Issue

Bang! (Editor-in-Chief)

Upcoming
Upcoming

Now

Two of Jack's poems feature in the Macmillan poetry anthology 'HE, SHE, THEY, US', available to purchase here.

Jack's poem Fractal is a winner of The Poetry Society Members' Poems competition (Spring 2024), available to read in

Poetry News and online.

Jack's poem Deadweight is a finalist for the SFPA's Rhysling Award. Winners to be announced in due course.

Jack's poem An uncertain future is featured in Southword 46.

Four of Jack's poems were translated into Romanian by Iustin Butnariuc for Tomis magazine, available to read online now.

July 27th, 11am-noon

Jack will be leading a group exploration of poems written

about Greenwich Park, as part of his residency.

All welcome to join.

Greenwich Park Learning Centre, Greenwich Park,

London, SE10 8QY

Contact
Contact

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Thanks for submitting!

Jack is particularly interested in hearing from other artists who want to collaborate.

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