This essay aims to expand what constitutes processes of signification to include the recalcitrant, folded materialities of molecular interaction, suggesting that molecules may act as signs, in a biosemiotic sense, without spiriting away the embodiment of their situated, three-dimensional enfoldings. The essay develops the concept of molecular poetics in order to formulate how a materialist approach to poetics, configured within the recent theoretical turn toward the nonhuman in the humanities, can remain sensitive to the complex aesthetic dimensions of the irresolvably nondualist imbrications of matter and meaning. Poet Christian Bök’s biopoetic project The Xenotext Experiment—in which he inserts a poem into the DNA of bacteria, hoping that the bacteria will act as his “post-human collaborators” to produce a second protein poem based on the expressed sequence of the original DNA poem—provides an ideal case study for considering the biosemiotic properties of the entangled shapes and temporalities of biological molecules.

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