Mathematical Poetry at Bridges 2015

A reading in the afternoon
  Friday, July 31
 3:30 - 5:30 pm
University of Baltimore
  John and Frances Angelos Law Center:

Moot Court Hall 


The  Program

Coordinated by Sarah Glaz, professor of mathematics at the University of Connecticut and poet, the poetry reading at Bridges 2015 features poetry with strong links to mathematics, a great variety of topics, and a wide range of poetic styles. The program starts with ten invited poets reading selections from their work, followed by an open microphone period where Bridges participants read their own mathematical poems. Between the two parts of the program we will view several visual mathematical poems by Bob Grumman (1941 - 2015) whose work touched many of our lives. A pdf file of the program is available here.

About the Coordinator and the Invited Poets
Sarah Glaz

Sarah Glaz is professor of mathematics at the University of Connecticut specializing in the area of commutative algebra. She also has a lifelong interest in poetry. Sarah translated poetry from several languages, wrote articles on the connections between mathematics and poetry, experimented with poetry in the mathematics classroom, co-edited the poetry anthology, Strange Attractors: Poems of Love and Mathematics (A K Peters, 2008), edited the Bridges 2013 Poetry Anthology (Tessellations Publishing, 2013), and served as Guest Editor for the 2014 Journal of Mathematics and the Arts Special Issue:  Poetry and Mathematics. Sarah's mathematical poetry appeared in: Ibis Review, ConvergenceThe American Math MonthlyThe Ghazal Page, Journal of Humanistic Mathematics, Recursive Angel, Talking Writing, American Scientist, and The London Grip. She is an associate editor for Journal of Mathematics and the Arts.


Emily Grosholz is the author of seven books of poetry, most recently Proportions of the Heart: Poems that Play with Mathematics, with artwork by Robert Fathauer (Tessellations Publishing, 2014), and Childhood, with artwork by Lucy Vines (Accents Publishing, 2014). Her guest-edited issue of Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics on "Time and Cosmology" will be published in 2015. She is Liberal Arts Research Professor of Philosophy and a member of the Center for Fundamental Theory / Institute for Gravitation and the Cosmos at Penn State University and a member of the research group SPHERE / UMR 7219 / University of Paris 7. Emily has been an advisory editor for the Hudson Review for thirty years, and joined the editorial advisory board of the Journal of Humanistic Mathematics five years ago.


Marion Cohen

Marion Deutsche Cohen holds a PhD degree in mathematics from Wesleyan University and teaches at Arcadia University, where her course, Mathematics in Literature, attracts an arithmetic progression of students.  Author of twenty-four books of poetry and prose, Marion published in her first volume of poetry, The Weirdest Is the Sphere (Seven Woods Press, 1979), a mathematical poem dating back to age seven. Her later mathematical poems were collected in the volume, Crossing the Equal Sign (Plain View Press, 2007). Marion's most recent publication is the book, Still the End: Memoir of a Nursing Home Wife (Unlimited Publishing, 2013). She lives with her husband in Philadelphia, where in addition to poetry and mathematics, she enjoys food, thrift shop expeditions, and visits from her grown children and grandchildren. Samples of her work appear at:


Carol DorfCarol Dorf is fascinated with the boundaries between disciplines―mathematics and poetry―prose poetry and lineated poetry. For the past fifteen years she's taught mathematics, and led an occasional poetry workshop. Recently she's tried to bring her loves together by introducing poetry into the mathematics classroom, and teaching poetry writing to mathematics teachers. Her poetry has been published in many journals including: Antiphon, Spillway, Sin Fronteras, Qarrtsiluni, The Mom Egg, Unlikely Stories, The Prose Poem Project, and Poemeleon, and anthologized in: Not A Muse, Best of Indie New England, Boomer Girls, and elsewhere. Her poetry book, Every Evening Deserves a Title, appeared with Delirious Nonce Publications in 2013. She is poetry editor of the online literary magazine Talking Writing, and teaches mathematics at Berkeley High School. Her article on mathematical poetry appears at:

JoAnne Growney

JoAnne Growney has loved poetry since she found A Child's Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson on a family bookshelf.  Her own poetry collections include Red Has No Reason (Plain View Press, 2010) and My Dance Is Mathematics (Paper Kite Press, 2006). While a professor at Pennsylvania's Bloomsburg University, she integrated relevant poetry into her mathematics classrooms, and the collection begun there has developed into a blog, "Intersections -- Poetry with Mathematics" at Besides this blog and several articles connecting poetry with mathematics, JoAnne has been active in collaborative projects with visual artists, poets and mathematicians, and in translation of Romanian poetry.   Located in Silver Spring, MD she offers writing workshops for mental health clients, writes poems and prose, and encourages her grandchildren to love both mathematics and poetry.

Gizem Karaali

Gizem Karaali is associate professor of mathematics at Pomona College. She earned a PhD from University of California, Berkeley, in 2004. Her research lies in the representation theory of Lie superalgebras, super quantum groups, and algebraic combinatorics. Her scholarly interests include humanistic mathematics, pedagogy, and quantitative literacy.  Gizem is a founding editor of the Journal of Humanistic Mathematics and associate editor of the Mathematical Intelligencer. She has organized panels, paper sessions and poetry readings, and presented invited addresses to diverse audiences. She has a National Security Agency Young Investigator Award, is a Sepia Dot (2006 Project NExT fellow), and serves as secretary of SIGMAA-QL and as program chair of the MAA SoCal/Nevada Section. In her spare time she likes traveling, reading and writing, and playing with her two young children.

Alice Major

Alice Major has published nine poetry collections and a book of essays, Intersecting Sets: A Poet Looks at Science (University of Alberta Press, 2011). Among her awards are the Pat Lowther Award for poetry and the Wilfrid Eggeston Award for non-fiction. Her interest in mathematics began at the age of twelve, when she was introduced to non-Euclidean geometry in one of Martin Gardner's books.  Ever since, like Percy Bysshe Shelley, she turns to math and science "to replenish my store of metaphor." She has been president of the League of Canadian Poets, first poet laureate for her home city of Edmonton (in western Canada), and is the founder of the Edmonton Poetry Festival. In 2012 Alice was inducted to Edmonton's Arts and Culture Hall of Fame. Additional information is available at:

Kaz Maslanka

Kaz Maslanka received a BFA in sculpture from Wichita State University, where he also studied music, mathematics and physics. He has been pioneering mathematical poetry for over thirty years and was nominated for a pushcart prize in poetry. His polyasthetic work maintains an international presence through exhibitions and museum collections around the world, as well as through his award winning blog, Mathematical Poetry,  Kaz lives in San Diego, California where he works both as an artist and as an engineering group leader designing parametric CAD models for aerospace technology. He is on the board of directors of San Diego's  Sonic Arts Studio and serves on the advisory boards of the Bronowski Art and Science Forum and the project, DNA of Creativity, sponsored by San Diego Visual Arts Network.

Mike Naylor

Mike Naylor is a professor of mathematics didactics working for the Norwegian Center for Mathematics Education in Trondheim, Norway. He is also artistic director of Matematikkhuset where he designs math rooms for schools and develops mathematical games and learning products. Mike is interested in presenting mathematical ideas in creative ways, including poetry, literature, art, music, software, drama and other performances. He was the mathematics columnist for Teaching K-8 magazine for seven years and is the author of over 100 publications spanning a range of mathematical genres including theoretical papers on mathematics, mathematics education, children's literature, poetry and a book of artwork titled Naked Geometry (NCME Publishing, 2008). For the past seven years Mike presented artwork and poetry at the Bridges conferences. More information on Mike's projects can be found at:


Deanna Nikaido
Deanna Nikaido
is a graduate from Art Center College of Design Pasadena, CA with a degree in Illustration and the author of two collections of poetry, Voice Like Water and Vibrating With Silence. Voice Like Water was selected in the Small Press Bookwatch July 2009 by Midwest Book Review. Her poems have appeared in several anthologies and journals and she is a recipient of the 2010 summer Bookinday Writing Fellowship in Tuscany, Italy and the 2012 summer fellowship in Bahia, Brazil. Deanna is currently a poetry/publishing coach and design specialist for Bookinday (BID) a non-profit, educational services company that fosters literacy skills, teaching students the fundamentals of creative writing through poetry and student-run publication. She is a regional coordinator for Poetry Out Loud Maryland, and sits on the board of Artblocks.

Eveline Pye

Eveline Pye worked as an Operational Research Analyst for Nchanga Consolidated Copper Mines, in Zambia, for ten years, and was a Statistics Lecturer at Glasgow Caledonian University, in Scotland, for over twenty years. Her mathematical and statistical poetry has been published in a wide range of literary magazines, newspapers and anthologies. In September 2011, Significance Magazine, the joint publication of the Royal Statistical Society and the American Mathematical Association featured her work in education and published a selection of her poems as part of their Life in Statistics series. She is currently a poetry editor for New Voices Press and works for The Federation of Writers (Scotland). A collection of her poems about Zambia will be published by Mariscat Press in Spring 2015. Examples of these poems can be found at:

Bob Grumman (1941 - 2015)

mathematical visual poet and friend

Bob's last publication appeared in the Special Issue of the Journal of Mathematics and the Arts: Poetry and Mathematics, (Sarah Glaz, guest editor), Vol.8 (issues 1-2), 2014. It consists of his paper: "Visiomathematical poetry, the triply-expressive poetry," and his poem "Mathemaku # 10" (with a design by Bob Grumman and Craig Kaplan) graced the cover of the Special Issue. This poem reflects the way many of us feel about poetry.
  Mathemaku # 10

Thank you Bob!

Open Microphone and Late Additions

Janice Dykacz
The Community College of Baltimore County, Baltimore, MD, USA
Reading her poem: "Geometry of Life"
Daniel May
Daniel May
Black Hills State University, Spearfish, SD, USA
Reading his poem: "adore"
Kala Perkins
Deborah Kala Perkins
University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA
Reading her poem: "Dark Energy and the Curvature of Poetry"

Osmo Pekonen
Osmo Pekonen
University of Jyvaskyla, Jyvaskyla, Finland
Reading translations of the poem: "Bolyai" by Mihali Babits
Katharine Ahrens

Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY, USA
Reading her poem: "Ode to a Platonic Solid"
Michelle Ellis

Albuquerque Public Schools, Albuquerque, NM, USA
Reading her poem: "Diametrically Opposed"
Hilarie Orman
Hilarie Orman

Purple Streak Computer Security & Research, Provo, UT, USA
Reading her poem: "For Denise"
Kate Jones

Kadon Enterprises, Inc., Pasadena, MD, USA
Reading her poem: "Singularity to Infinity"
Attention Bridges participants!

Bridges participants are invited to read their mathematical poems in this second part of the reading. If you are interested, please contact Sarah Glaz in person at the meeting or by email at:

Back to Mathematical Poetry at Bridges