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π-ku Poetry Competition – Results

Photo of a medal with 'WINNER' written on it
Image by AxxLC from Pixabay

A few weeks ago, we asked you to write some mathematical poetry – π-ku, which are a bit like Haiku but instead of the structure 5-7-5, they use the more classical 3-1-4 format (and it doesn’t just have to be syllables – valid π-ku can also use 3, 1 and 4 words on each line, if you prefer).

You responded in large quantities – across Twitter and email, we received over 100 entries, from fun ditties to serious, beautiful poems. Since none of us here at the Aperiodical are particularly well-versed (pun intended) in poetry, we consulted maths/poetry aficionado and special guest judge JoAnne Growney, who runs a blog collating mathematical poems over at Poetry With Mathematics.

After deliberating, JoAnne’s picked out some of her favourites, and I’ve chipped in with some of my own thoughts. Here are our top picks, and you can scroll right down to the bottom to see the winning entry.


Colin Beveridge @icecolbeveridge

JoAnne: Clever! I like it.
Katie: There were many entries along these lines, but this one is neat.

“Two pie, arrr!”
Hungry pirate

Joe Elliot (via email)

Katie: A truly classic pun.
JoAnne: I like it.

The circle of
Is drawn in heartbeats

Jessica McConnell @MmeMcConnell

JoAnne: Connecting geometry with the heart!
Katie: And the Lion King.

I can not breathe

Gavin E Riley (via email)

Katie: We asked people to write about whatever’s on their mind.
JoAnne: Current events – it’s a comment on police brutality.

Math isn’t just
What do you think?

Karen Campe @karencampe

JoAnne: A thoughtful comment about math.
Katie: We had several entries from Karen – many deep and insightful.

circle breadths

Martin Harris @MarHarStar

JoAnne: Using the Pi-ku to comment on Pi!
Katie: Enjoying the use of lower-case – very e e cummings.

And finally, here’s our winner:

Or, perchance, truth

Sally Maughan @s3yM5n

Katie: This was one of the earliest entries, and it jumped out at me as a fun one, so it’s been picked as the winner. (Not lies).
JoAnne: Speculation about statistics – this is one of my favorites.

We’ll be contacting Sally about her prize via Twitter. Thanks to everyone who entered, and if you want to see more of the entries, you can search on Twitter for #piku and @aperiodical!

2 Responses to “π-ku Poetry Competition – Results”

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$\LaTeX$: You can use LaTeX in your comments. e.g. $ e^{\pi i} $ for inline maths; \[ e^{\pi i} \] for display-mode (on its own line) maths.

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