From Fibs to Fractals Exploring mathematical forms in poetry by Marian Christie

All of the writer’s royalty and the press revenue will go to the charity, Féileacáin Ireland.

Marian Christie is originally from Harare, Zimbabwe, and travelled widely before moving to her present home in Kent. She has master’s degrees in mathematics and in creative writing. Her poetry has appeared in, among others, The Amethyst Review, Black Bough Poetry, Dust Poetry Magazine, The Fib Review, The Journal of Humanistic Mathematics, The Stony Thursday Book (Summer 2018) and The Bridges 2020 Poetry Anthology. She frequently interweaves mathematical imagery with everyday experience, at times explicitly, at times more obliquely. Marian’s chapbook Fractal Poems (Penteract Press) is a sequence of poems inspired by fractal forms.

She blogs, mainly on mathematical poetry, at and is on Twitter @marian_v_o.

About her collection of essays – From Fibs to Fractals: exploring mathematical forms in poetry.

Many of poetry’s standard forms feature mathematical elements – think of the structure of a sonnet, the rotation of end-words in a sestina, the iterations in a pantoum. This book considers some other, less familiar, ways in which mathematical forms can be applied in poetry. It explores how poets through the centuries have taken inspiration from geometrical structures; how permutations can be used to constrain or to liberate; and how contemporary poets have embedded number sequences into their writing in adventurous and intriguing ways.  

The forms, which often include a strong visual component, lend themselves to playfulness and experimentation. My wish is that you will take the ideas presented in this book, adapt them to your own poetic style and themes, play with them – perhaps even invent a new poetic form!



Praise for the Author

“With eloquence and precision, Marian Christie illuminates contemporary mathematical poetry, showing us how the oneiric patterns of verse intertwine with the numeric patterns of the universe.”

Anthony Etherin; author of Stray Arts (and Other Inventions) and publisher for Penteract Press.

“Poetry written within mathematically-derived constraints has a mysterious power to breach our psychic defences. Christie’s elegant prose explains the mystery.”
– Phil Vernon, poet (Poetry After Auschwitz).

“With engaging explanations and varied examples, Marian Christie introduces intriguing ways that mathematical patterns help writers to create powerful poetry.“

JoAnne Growney, poet, mathematics professor emerita, grandparent.

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