Beatrix Gates MFA ’84

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Beatrix Gates MFA ’84 has been awarded one of two Alan Jutzi Non-Traditional Scholar fellowships at The Huntington Library in academic year 2018-2019 for "Good Seeing: Poem of the Full Sky," which highlights 20th c. astronomer Henrietta Swan Leavitt who discovered the means for Hubble’s measuring the universe. “Good seeing” defines available dark for viewing the night sky; the history of astronomy; human desire for connectedness across time; and the history of optics. The Huntington established The Alan Jutzi Fellowship for Non-Traditional Scholars in recognition of former chief curator of rare books, Alan Jutzi, and to honor Alan’s long service to the intellectual needs of researchers, regardless of academic pedigree. The Alan Jutzi Fellowship provides up to two months of annual research support and in keeping with Alan’s breadth of interests, applicants are not limited by field or profession, and may include writers, journalists, urban and city planners, architects, collectors, independent scholars, librarians, and others. Gates' time at the Huntington will be focused on Henrietta Swan Leavitt to understand the context for her brilliant achievement within the technology of the day. Writing about Leavitt requires studies in Astronomy, Music, Photography, Deafness, Disability Studies and Women’s History. The long poem, a form of fluid memory, includes experiments in biography in a lyric exploration of Leavitt’s story and of observation itself. There are rewards for “good seeing,” including curiosity and discovery, which speak globally and defy contemporary binary oppositions.