Skip to Main Content
Math Poetry

Math Poetry

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, acrostics, based on the Fibonacci sequence, or even square stanzas such as JoAnne Growney's poem Square Math Problem in which the number of syllables per line equals the number of lines. Imagine and express yourself through mathematical poetry!

Order a 2024 Math Poetry Poster for your office or classroom here.

2023 Math Poetry Posters are still available- order here.

The 2025 Math Poetry contest will open in late November 2024. Email Math-Poetry or provide your email so we can stay in touch!

Congratulations to the 2024 Math Poetry Contest winners!

An Intriguing Mystery
by Jera Feem V. Forro
University of the Philippines Visayas Iloilo City High School

Meditation on Mathematics
by Chelsea Zhu


Richard Montgomery High School

Infinity Is Known by Many Names
by Jasmin Mundi


American University

2024 Math Poetry Contest Honorable Mentions

College Entrants

  • Mary Gutierrez(University of Dallas), “The Music of the Spheres”
  • Charlie Kiley (University of Cincinnati), “Unsolved"
  • Emilynne Newsom (Harvey Mudd College), “Tolerance”
  • Leif Schaumann (Kenyon College), “Thue-Morse Turtle Words”

High School Entrants

  • João Pedro Gasparian (Trinity School), “Twenty-One Fish in a Pond”
  • Emma Zhang (Branham High School), “Self Portrait as Existential Calculus”

 

 

Middle School Entrants

  • Dhanin Bhardwaj (Oberoi International School JVLR), “Odd and Even Days”
  • Maya Mourshed (Francis Scott Key Middle School), “The Secret Lives of Numbers”
  • Adya Seker (Kennedy Middle School), “Zero”

 

Previous contests

A limited supply of the 2023 Math Poetry poster remains – order yours today.

Check out the 2023 Math Poetry Winners!

infinity, River Oxenreider (Ohio State University), college student entry

Sum of Us, Angela Zhou (International Academy East), high school student entry

Forest of Numbers, Miranda Jedlinski (Arthur and Polly Mays Conservatory for the Arts), middle school student entry

 

2023 Math Poetry Contest Honorable Mentions

  • College Entrants
  • Rye Ledford, University of Missouri - Kansas City
  • Ramie Thompson, Wofford College
  • Lena Zhang, The Ohio State University
  • High School Entrants
  • Melanie Acosta, Arthur and Polly Mays Conservatory for the Arts
  • Kara Lee, Stanford Online High School
  • Marina Matson, Brookfield Academy
  • Heer Patel, Maggie L Walker Governors’ School
  • Gabrielle Tong, Milpitas High School
  • Middle School Entrants
  • Derek Aoki, Bullis Charter School
  • Jayce Brown, Edmonds Heights
  • Gregory Estrin, Lang Ranch Elementary

2020 AMS Math Poetry Contest

In fall 2019 the AMS conducted a Math Poetry Contest contest for Colorado middle school, high school, and undergraduate students in connection with the 2020 Joint Mathematics Meetings in Denver. The winners will read their poems during Mathemati-Con, the day of free events open to the public, Saturday, January 18.

The three winning poems in the 2020 AMS Math Poetry Contest are:

2019 AMS Math Poetry Contest

The winners of the 2019 Math Poetry Contests read their work at the 2019 Joint Mathematics Meetings, January 16-19, 2019 in the Baltimore Convention Center. The three winning poems in the 2019 AMS Math Poetry Contest were:

Congratulations to all three!

Square math problem

by JoAnne Growney

Square math problem by JoAnne Growney

Resources for exploring math and poetry

  1. Intersections--Poetry with Mathematics blog
  2. Each issue of the Journal of Humanistic Mathematics or The Mathematical Intelligencer
  3. S. Buchanan, Poetry and Mathematics, J.B. Lippincott Co., Philadelphia, 1962
  4. E. Robson & J. Wimp (eds.), Against Infinity: an Anthology of Contemporary Mathematical Poetry, Primary Press, Parker Ford, PA, 1979
  5. Proceedings from the annual Bridges conference (1998-)
  6. J. Growney (ed.), Numbers and Faces, HMN, 2001
  7. S. Glaz & J. Growney (eds.), Strange Attractors: Poems of Love and Mathematics, CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL, 2008
  8. Math poetry-focused issue of Journal of Mathematics and the Arts, 2014
  9. "Maths and poetry: Beauty is the link," Peter Lynch, The Irish Times, October 17, 2019
  10. This talk on Mathematical Poetry by Professor and Contest Judge Larry Lesser was recorded for the National Museum of Mathematics in November 2021