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A Day In the Life of Antarctica’s Newest Poet In Residence

After traveling for five days, on four planes, over three continents, Martin will make a final run to a supermarket to hoard fresh fruits and veggies before embedding with the McMurdo Station scientists and penguins. There, Martin will study the vernacular of the scientific experiments to inform her poetry. “It’s sort of the opposite of Walt Whitman’s famous poem about the astronomer,” she explained. “Whitman was kind of an asshole and has this jerky humanities position that science is a diminishment of the wonder that we feel.” Martin takes the opposite view: "The more you get to know how weird and wonderful these animals are actually increases the majesty and awe that you feel."

  • Charles Dickens was a proponent of strict routine—and walking. He worked from 9.a.m. to 2.p.m, without fail, and needed complete silence. At 2.p.m. he would go for a 3-hour walk and returned, the book notes, bursting with energy and ideas.
  • Maya Angelou likes writing in hotel rooms. She talks about checking into her sparse hotel room and working from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., accompanied by a dictionary, a Bible and a bottle of sherry.

The daily rituals of the world’s most creative people