Mathematical Poetry at Bridges 2016

A reading in the afternoon
  Friday, August 12, 2:00-4:00 PM
  Agora, Auditorium 3

University of  Jyvaskyla

The  Program

Coordinated by Sarah Glaz, professor of mathematics at the University of Connecticut and poet, the poetry reading at Bridges 2016 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.  A pdf file of the program will be available here in July. Works by the Bridges Finland and past Bridges conferences invited poets will be included in the forthcoming Bridges 2016 Poetry Anthology (Tessellations Publishers, 2016). More information about the anthology will be posted before the conference on the Bridges 2016 Poetry Day and Registration pages, as well as 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, is editor of the print and online Bridges Poetry Anthologies 2013, 2014, and 2016 (forthcoming), and served as Guest Editor for the 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.

Madhur Anand
Madhur Anand's debut collection of poems, A New Index for Predicting Catastrophes  (McClelland & Stewart/Penguin Random House Canada, 2015), has been reviewed in national and international magazines and was nominated for the 2016 Trillium Book Award for Poetry.  Publisher's Weekly said "Anand's attention to and ability to evoke explicit, exponential beauty in scientific and natural form are simply stunning." Her work has more recently appeared in The Rusty Toque and The Walrus. In 2009 she co-edited the anthology Regreen: New Canadian Ecological Poetry. She is a professor in the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of Guelph, Canada. Her research interests include forest ecology, sustainability science and ecological modelling.  She lives in Guelph, Ontario with her husband and three young children. Additional information on Madhur's scholarship and publications may be found at:

Photo credit: Karen Whylie, Coyote Photos.

  Tatiana Bonch-Osmolovskaya

Tatiana Bonch-Osmolovskaya was born in former Soviet Union and studied physics at Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology and philology at Moscow State Humanitarian University. Her Ph.D degree is on Russian experimental poetry. Tatiana is author of ten books in Russian, including Introduction to the Literature of Formal Restrictions and Labyrinths of combinatorial literature, and coeditor of the anthology, Freedom of restriction. Her poetry in English appeared in: Can I tell you a secret?, Across the Russian Wor(l)d, Bridges Anthology, London Grip, The Disappearing, and Journal of Humanistic Mathematics. She is a member of the Executive Board of the International Symmetry Association, editorial committee of Another Hemisphere Journal and a guest-editor of Symmetry literary sessions. She organized the Mathematics and Arts seminar, GolosA (Voices) Festival of Combinatorial Poetry, and Symmetry Festival Literary Session.

Carol Dorf

Carol Dorf is fascinated with the boundaries between disciplines and forms. For the past fifteen years she has taught mathematics at Berkeley High School, and has led poetry workshops. Recently, she's brought her passions together by publishing an issue of mathematical poetry in the online magazine Talking Writing, where she is the poetry editor. She has also introduced poetry into the mathematics classroom, and taught poetry writing to mathematics teachers. Her work has been published in journals including:  Slipstream, Glint, The Mom Egg, Spillway, Sin Fronteras, Antiphon, Poemeleon, About Place, The Journal of Humanistic Mathematics, Scientific American, and Maintenant, and has been anthologized in: Not A Muse, Best of Indie New England, Boomer Girls, and elsewhere. Her most recent book, Theory Headed Dragon, appeared with Finishing Line Press in 2016.

Emily Grosholz 

Emily Grosholz is the author of seven poetry collections, most recently Proportions of the Heart: Poems that Play with Mathematics, with artwork by Robert Fathauer (Tessellations Publishing, 2014). Her guest-edited issue  Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics on "Time and Cosmology" appeared in 2015, and her book Great Circles: The Transits of Mathematics and Poetry is due from Springer in 2017.  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-two  years, and joined the editorial board of the Journal of Humanistic Mathematics  six years ago.

Alice Major

Alice Major has published ten poetry collections, most recently Standard Candles (University of Alberta Press, 2015). Her book of essays, Intersecting Sets: A Poet Looks at Science,  has been awarded  the Wilfrid Eggeston Award for non-fiction. Among her writing awards are the Pat Lowther Award for poetry. 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.
Mike Naylor

Mike Naylor is a co-director of Matematikkbolgen and of the Math Creativity and Competency Center in Norway. He gives courses for teachers, students and the public, designs math rooms for schools and develops mathematical games and learning products. Mike presents mathematical ideas in creative ways, including poetry, literature, art, music, video, software, drama, and other performances, and is author of over 100 publications spanning a range of mathematical genres. Mike is known for his Naked Geometry art series and book, and his quarterly column on Mathematics and Creativity in Tangenten magazine. Last year he was named as a "Math and Science Hero" by the minister of education in Norway. For the past eight years Mike presented artwork and poetry at the Bridges conferences. More information on Mike's projects can be found at:

Tom Petsinis

Tom Petsinis was born in Macedonia, Greece, and immigrated to Australia as a child. He is a novelist, playwright, poet, and mathematics lecturer at Victoria University, Melbourne. Tom has published seven collections of poetry, including Naming the Number, Breadth for a Dying Word, My Father's Tools and Four Quarters, which won the Wesley Michel Wright Poetry Prize. Of his five plays, The Drought won the Wal Cherry Playscript of the Year Award and was short-listed for the Victorian Premier's Award. His four works of fiction include the novels The Twelfth Dialogue and The French Mathematician, nominated for both the New South Wales and South Australian Premier's Award. His work has been translated into a number of languages. Quaternia, Tom's new novel featuring mathematics, was recently published. Forthcoming work includes the novel Plato's Number.
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 Statistical Association featured her work in education and published a selection of her poems as part of their Life in Statistics series. She was poetry editor for New Voices Press and worked for the Federation of Writers (Scotland). A collection of her poems about Zambia, Smoke that Thunders, was published by Mariscat Press in 2015. Examples of Eveline's mathematical poems may be found online at:

Vera Schwarcz 

Vera Schwarcz is a China historian and poet. Her interest in links between science and poetry grew out of the life and work of her husband, a noted cell biologist who passed away in 2014. Vera received her BA from Vassar College, MA from Yale University and Ph.D from Stanford University. For the past four decades she taught at Wesleyan University in Connecticut, USA. She is the author of nine books about Chinese intellectual history, including Bridge Across Broken Time: Chinese and Jewish Cultural Memory (Yale University Press, 1989) which was nominated for the National Jewish Book Award. She has also written four books of poetry, A Scoop of Light, Chisel of Remembrance, Ancestral Intelligence, and most recently, The Physics of Wrinkle Formation (Antrim Press, 2015). For more information about her work, see:

Manfred Stern 

Manfred Stern holds a Ph.D degree in mathematics from the Mathematical Research Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest.  During the academic year 1985-86 he was a lecturer at Asmara University, Eritrea. He is the author of the monograph Semimodular Lattices (Cambridge University Press, Hardback 1999, Paperback 2009), and of the book God said: Let Newton be ... Mathematical, Physical, Didactic and Empty Poems that appeared in German (Dr. Kovač publishers, Hamburg 2015). This book contains his own mathematical poems as well as translations of poems, including a number of limericks published together with their English originals. He also edited a book on Georg Cantor written by the late Hungarian mathematician Andor Kertesz. As a freelance translator he translated twenty two books from English, Finnish, French, Hungarian, Italian, and Russian into German.

Open Microphone and Late Additions

Kate Jones

Kate Jones

Kadon Enterprises, Inc., Pasadena, MD, USA
Reading her poem: "Twelveness" -- a Fibonacci verse celebrating the 12 pentominoes

Osmo Pekonen

Osmo Pekonen

University of Jyvaskyla, Jyvaskyla, Finland
Reading translations of the poem: "Bolyai" by Mihali Babits

Doug Norton

Doug Norton
Villanova University, Villanova, PA, USA
Reading his poem: "Siltoihin"


Marjorie Senechal

Smith College, Northampton, MA, USA
Reading a translation of the poem: "Portrait of Max Dehn" by Francisco Jose Craveiro de Carvalho

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