'Western science began in poetry with the cosmology of the Greek presocratic poets; the Renaissance began with the re-discovery of De Rerum Natura, a Latin epic on atomic theory. Rachel McCarthy, a first-rate scientist and poet, takes these relationships further in exploring the periodic table, using it to look at human life through the elegant precision of both poetry and science.' – Ruth Padel
'Taut, intelligent, lyrical, Rachel McCarthy’s poems wear their scientific impulses as lightly as fine linen. Again and again McCarthy weaves idea, experience and feeling into works that remind us how rich and extraordinary life is in all of its intricate nuance.' – Carrie Etter
'The poems in Element are deftly assembled, easily erudite, wide-ranging, sincere. The reader learns from them by being taken pleasurably to science, the classics and personal observation.' – Harry Guest
Rachel McCarthy was born in Preston in 1984. She graduated from Durham University in 2006 with double first class honours in Physics and Chemistry and is now a Senior Scientist at the Met Office. She’s managing director of ExCite Poetry, the largest of the Poetry Society’s regional groups and of the increasingly successful Exeter Poetry Festival. Her poems have been featured in an array of magazines as well as on BBC Radio 4 and Sky Arts.