Poetry, chapbook, 44 pages, from Bottlecap Features.
spectra & spectators is a collection of poetry and prose by a lover of science and art alike, written throughout their college and recent-post-grad years. Pieces are paired with original images and presented in chronological order, from a poem written at age 19, to a reflection on being 23 at time of writing. Musings on love, friendship, and nostalgia are interwoven as a time capsule, making this chapbook much like an observation of a star: as you spectate its spectra, you are looking back in time.
This collection displays the heart of its speaker as she navigates her queerness, connects with her Filipino roots, and reaches for the stars. On her journey to outer space, she realizes just how much of her love remains back home. She learns to romanticize the mundane - or rather, that she was always wrapped up in love for the little things, but is only now allowing herself to be.
Peppered with nerdy notions and Tagalog tidbits, spectra & spectators is a documentation of growing pains and self-actualization. It is a voicing of realization - realization of what really matters, to one small human, living in one big universe.
ellen torres thompson (she/they) graduated from U.C. Berkeley in 2021 with majors in Astrophysics and South & Southeast Asian studies. Her day job is in science education. When she’s not teaching astronomy, she’s playing ukulele (poorly), watching Star Trek, or going on adventures with her friends. She also writes stuff, sometimes. spectra & spectators is her first (literary) publication. You can follow ellen on Twitter and Instagram @naturallog_t