With SXSW 2024 just a month away, Austinites are preparing to once again host the foremost annual gathering of creative minds in the country.

The Opening Session is entitled Explore Space & Poetry with NASA & Poet Laureate Ada Limón (pictured).

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden appointed Limón as the 24th Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress on July 12, 2022 and reappointed her for a historic two-year second term that will extend through April 2025. Limón has a number of major collaborations underway with NASA, the National Park Service and the Poetry Society of America to share poetry with more people and connect us with the natural world, along with other initiatives as part of her laureateship.

To quote from the SXSW site, “As we look around this world, we can find an infinite number of things to explore. Every corner we turn can be filled with curiosity and wonder. And the more we look, the more we can find possibilities that will inspire, spark ideas, and expand our understanding of worlds beyond Earth.

With a long history of sending inspirational messages out to the depths of space, it’s only fitting that NASA’s Europa Clipper spacecraft launching in October 2024 will continue this tradition by including an engraved poem by US Poet Laureate Ada Limón. Come hear the poem as well as dive into the many ways science and art unite.”

She will be joined on stage by Dr. Lori Glaze is the Director of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate’s Planetary Science Division. Planetary Science is focused on space flight missions and scientific research that address fundamental questions of solar system formation and evolution, including understanding planetary environments that can (or could have in the past) support life. Prior to headquarters, Dr. Glaze served as the chief of the Planetary Geology, Geophysics and Geochemistry Laboratory at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and as the Deputy Director of Goddard’s Solar System Exploration Division.

To buy a badge to attend this and hundreds of other sessions for two weeks (starting Mar. 8), visit the website: sxsw.com

By Dr. Cliff Cunningham

Dr. Cliff Cunningham is a planetary scientist, the acknowledged expert on the 19th century study of asteroids. He is a Research Fellow at the University of Southern Queensland in Australia. He serves as Editor of the History & Cultural Astronomy book series published by Springer; and Associate Editor of the Journal of Astronomical History & Heritage. Asteroid 4276 in space was named in his honour by the International Astronomical Union based in the recommendation of the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Dr. Cunningham has written or edited 15 books. His PhD is in the History of Astronomy, and he also holds a BA in Classical Studies.