As a child growing up in what is now Zimbabwe, I was drawn both to the arts and to the sciences, in particular to poetry and to mathematics. I wrote poetry as a teenager, finding inspiration in the richly varied landscape of southern Africa.
Eventually I opted to study applied mathematics and went on to teach at schools in the Middle East and Scotland before moving to Kent, where I now live. In 2019 I completed a Master’s degree in creative writing with the Open University.
I have long been conscious of the poetry of mathematics: its ability to express complex ideas elegantly and succinctly, its exploitation of patterns to infer deep connections between seemingly unrelated fields, its use of abstract forms to convey profound insights into universal interactions. Inspired by the works of mathematician-poets such as Sarah Glaz and JoAnne Growney, in recent years I have begun to explore mathematical poetry. My work frequently interweaves mathematical imagery with everyday experience, at times explicitly, at times more obliquely.
My poetry has been published in, among others, 192 magazine, Allegro Poetry, Amethyst Review, As Above So Below, Black Bough Poetry, Consilience, Dust Poetry, The Ekphrastic Review, The Fib Review and The Journal of Humanistic Mathematics, and in print in The Stony Thursday Book, Pushing out the Boat and the anthology Myth and Metamorphosis (Penteract Press). Four of my poems have been published in The Bridges 2020 anthology of mathematical poetry.
Fractal Poems, a sequence of poems whose content and form are inspired by fractal forms, is published by Penteract Press.
My collection of essays From Fibs to Fractals: exploring mathematical forms in poetry, is published by Beir Bua Press.
I am on Twitter @marian_v_o.