Winter Readings: Two Poems by Tania Hershman

Tania Hershman “Both these prose poems are inspired by physics. The first, ‘But If I Knew A Little More’, is actually written in a form I created inspired by gravity! This is part of a collaboration with my friend, fellow poet and PhD student, Miranda Barnes, where we set each other challenges to create new poetic forms inspired by different concepts from physics. One of us picks a physics theory, then we both design a new form, write a poem to our own form, then swap! We have done this a few times now and I find it immensely challenging and fun – and we are planning an online project for next year to get many more writers doing this kind of thing, so stay tuned! My form is basically inspired by the equation describing gravity, which is two bodies pulling on each other, the strength of that attraction dependent on the distance between them, and this poem is two paragraphs with a single line in between, half of which is “pulled” from the end of para 1 and half pulled from the beginning of para 2.

The second prose poem was inspired by reading about symmetry in an article in New Scientist – symmetry in physics and symmetry in life. It’s all true! Of course.”


taniaTania Hershman is the author of two short story collections: My Mother Was An Upright Piano: Fictions (Tangent Books, 2012), and The White Road and Other Stories (Salt, 2008) and co-author of Writing Short Stories: A Writers’ & Artists’ Companion (Bloomsbury, Dec 2014). Her debut poetry chapbook, Nothing Here is Wild, Everything Is Open, is forthcoming from Southword Editions in February 2016. Tania’s short stories and poetry have been widely published and broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and 4 She is curator of ShortStops (, celebrating short story activity across the UK & Ireland, a Royal Literary Fund fellow at Bristol University and studying for a PhD in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University.

© Tania Hershman, 2015.

Tania’s poems are both featured in the current, Winter issue of The Lonely Crowd, which can be purchased here.