Jeannine served as the poet laureate of Redmond, Washington, and her poetry has appeared NPR’s Writer’s Almanac, The American Poetry Review, The Iowa Review, and Prairie Schooner. The Robot Scientist’s Daughter is her fourth collection of poems. She grew up near ORNL, where her father worked on robots to deal with nuclear waste. Her childhood home now lies under a gigantic concrete slab.
As we struggle to end reliance on fossil fuels for our energy, many advocated the construction of nuclear power plants as a substitute. No matter how safe, accidents can, do, and will occur. Even aside from those problems, the disposal of nuclear waste has not been settled to everyone’s satisfaction. Poetry is the perfect place to explicate these problems. The sadness and the emotion and the difficulties Jeannine experiences are a warning to us all. Gailey never plays on our fears, however. She handles her situation with grace and notes of caution.