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Sunday, January 18, 2009

Mathematics & Love

Just in case you, Dear Reader, do not do numbers, I'm warning you now that this post is about participating in a poetry reading on the theme “Mathematics and Love” in conjunction with the national Joint Mathematics Meetings that were held in Washington, DC, on January 7, 2009. The reading featured poets who were recently published in Strange Attractors: Poems of Love and Mathematics edited by Sarah Glaz and JoAnne Growney.

The reading drew a large crowd, perhaps 100 people or more. The publishers—A. K. Peters Ltd set up a table to sell their books and others brought by the poets, including The Steiny Road to Operadom, but I think this was a hard crowd to sell to despite them turning out in record numbers for a poetry event.

Because both Sarah Glaz and JoAnne Growney are mathematicians, the reading ran like clockwork. So I'm picking up the program list and supplying photos to give the flavor of what happened. The numbers after the poem titles indicate the anthology page number where the poem can be found. All of the poets were asked to read a poem by a poet who was not at this reading. As you can see from the what follows the poets' names (those in attendance), many are affiliated with a university or college and quite a few are mathematicians as well as poets. What is also obvious is that many of these participating poets traveled from a significant distance to be at this reading and/or conference.

SARAH GLAZ, UNIVERSITY OF CONNECTICUT
Love Story (91)
Mathematics (Hanns Cibulka, 136)

KARREN LALONDE ALENIER, CHEVY CHASE, MD
Dialectic of the Census Takers (75)
from Five Poems about Zero (Eryk Salvaggio, 55)

JUDITH BAUMEL, ADELPHI UNIVERSITY
Fibonacci (7)
Why Does Disorder Increase in the Same Direction of Time as That in Which the Universe Expands? (Roald Hoffman, 31)

MARION DEUTSCHE COHEN, ARCADIA UNIVERSITY
Scared and the Intermediate Value Theorem (1 37)
What Drove Me into Math (138)
My Number (Sandra Alcosser, 128)

JENNIFER CROW, WEST FALLS, NY
Mathematics (83)
from The Cyberiad (Stanislaw Lem, 38)

KATHRYN DEZUR, SUNY TECHNICAL COLLEGE AT DELHI
Fibonacci Numbers (85)
We Sat, So Patient (Len Roberts, 183)

BOB GRUMMAN, PORT CHARLOTTE, FL
Mathemaku No 10, (95)








ISRAEL LEWIS, SILVER SPRING, MD
I Find my Faith in the Flatness of Space (104)

KAZ MASLANKA, D3 TECHNOLOGIES
Sacrifice and Bliss (168)
Addition (Langston Hughes,99)
Useless (Randall Munroe, 171)

WILMER MILLS, UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA;

Equation for My Children (105)
Sine Qua Non (A E Stallings, 116)
Statistics (J V Cunningham, 15)
Proportions of the Heart (Emily Grosholz, 92)


WENDY MNOOKIN, EMERSON COLLEGE
Math (110)
Flash Cards (Rita Dove, 86)

KYOKO MORI, GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY;

Barbie Says Math is Hard (111)
Self-Improvement (Tony Hoagland,29)

DEANNA NIKAIDO, BALTIMORE, MD
July 18, 2005 (50)
from Chaos Theory (Ronald Wallace, 66)

BECKY DENNISON SAKELLARIOU, KIFISSIA, GR;
Math is Beautiful and So Are You (54)
“Number Man” (Carl Sandburg, 185)

JOHN VIEIRA, POTOMAC, MD
The Lake Swan, the Tom (124)
Let’s Live and Love: To Lesbia (by Gaius Valerius Catullus, 12)
from Lilavati (by Bhaskaracharya, 131)


Part 2

Poems for this part of the reading primarily came in response to a call for submissions in the preliminary program for the 2009 Joint Mathematics Meetings.

PATRICK BAHLS, UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA, ASHVILLE
Inverse
Symmetry


RAD DIMITRIC, PITTSBURGH, PA
If They Try


CHARLOTTE HENDERSON, A K PETERS, LTD
Couple Theory

ROSANNA IEMBO, UNIVERSITY OF CALABRIA, ITALY
All the World's a Complex System --- Of the Imaginary and the Real CHONG M. LIN and R. IEMBO ( violin by IRENE IACCARINO).


RON MOSIER (1938 -2008)
Finishing the Math, read by RUTH FAVRO, Lawrence Technological University.

JUDITH BAUMEL, ADELPHI UNIVERSITY
Thirty-six Poets

BOB GRUMMAN, PORT CHARLOTTE, FL
Mathemaku for Beethoven


ISRAEL LEWIS, SILVER SPRING, MD
Cantor—a poem with two voices read by Lewis and DEANNA NIKAIDO

KAZ MASLANKA, D3 TECHNOLOGIES
Prometheus's Epistle to Job


JOANNE GROWNEY, SILVER SPRING, MD
My Dance is Mathematics (158)
San Antonio, January, 1993 (160)


After the reading a bunch of my friends and I went to the hotel bar (it was a fiercely rainy night) and hung out with the organizers and some of the poets.




if you want a review of the reading, check out the blog called Conversations with a Stone (great title, huh?).

3 comments:

Kaz Maslanka said...

WOW! it looks like you got pictures of everyone!
Thanks!
Kaz

bobgrumman said...

Yes, thanks for looks like The Official Record of . . . what must be the World's First Poetry Reading Devoted to Mathematics and Love, yes? Thanks, too, to all the people in the pictures for their contribution to a most enjoyable experience!

--Bob G.

Sarah Glaz said...

Thank you, Karen, for your lovely poem, your participation in the reading, and the kind account of the event. I enjoyed the conference very much,in particular the poetry reading,in spite of nursing a terrible cold for the entire duration. It was a great experience to finally meet in person you, Joanne, and many of the other poets whom I knew before only from their written words.

Sarah