Poetry is about as ancient as mathematics in human culture. Its language can be whimsical, somber, joyful, beautiful, concise, thought-provoking, and inspirational. We invite you to think and write about mathematics in this unique form of expression. Poems can be limericks, sonnets, haiku, acrostic, square stanzas (such as the one below by JoAnne Growney in which the number of syllables per line equals the number of lines), based on the Fibonacci sequence (with the number of syllables per line based on the sequence), or other type. Imagine and express!
This fall the AMS is conducting a contest for Colorado middle school, high school, and undergraduate students in connection with the 2020 Joint Mathematics Meetings in Denver.
Rules and Eligibility::
Judging: Entries will be judged on originality, poetic quality, and thoughtful use of mathematical imagery by a panel of three judges: JoAnne Growney, Gizem Karaali, and Larry Lesser. They compiled a list of resources for more exploration below. Date of announcement of winners: Dec. 12.
Rights: The AMS will retain no ownership rights to your poetry. Such rights remain with the poet at all times.
Winners must agree to:
To enter the contest, complete the online information form and either
AMS Poetry Contest
c/o AMS Public Awareness Office
201 Charles Ave.
Providence, RI 02904.
OK. Start composing and good luck!
The three winning poets: Brooke C. Johnston, Tina Xia, and Kelin Torres-Rodas, with one of the poetry contest judges, JoAnne Growney. The three poems are linked to below.
Here's a video of Kelin, Tina, and Brooke reading their winning poems. They're introduced by JoAnne Growney.
The three winning poems in the 2019 AMS Math Poetry Contest are:
Congratulations to all three!
S. Buchanan, Poetry and Mathematics, J.B. Lippincott Co., Philadelphia, 1962.
• E. Robson & J. Wimp (eds.), Against Infinity: an Anthology of Contemporary Mathematical Poetry, Primary Press, Parker Ford, PA, 1979.
• Proceedings from the annual Bridges conference (1998-)
• J. Growney (ed.), Numbers and Faces, HMN, 2001.
• S. Glaz & J. Growney (eds.), Strange Attractors: Poems of Love and Mathematics, CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL, 2008.