£500 worth of prizes to be won in the 2017 MATRIX Poetry Competition

Could you write a Haiku about science? You could win one of two £250 prizes up for grabs in this year’s MATRIX Poetry Competition.

MATRIX has launched its third Poetry Competition to highlight the links between science and the arts. For the first time MATRIX, the Northern Ireland Science Industry Panel, is teaming up with the NI Science Festival and the John Hewitt Society to run an online competition plus an event in the Black Box in Belfast which will attempt to set a new world record.

This year entries must be in the form of a Haiku. This is a Japanese poetry form which has no title and a total of just 17 syllables in three lines of 5-7-5 formation.

For example:

To some, solutions

are answers. To chemists they

are still all mixed up.


A vibration is

motion that cannot decide

which way it should go.



is fired by the lilac flame

of potassium.


We want to make the competition as open as possible, so just follow @MATRIX_NI, tweet your haiku, add the hashtag #MatrixHaiku and you are in with a chance to win £250. The closing date for this prize is the 17th February. But if you come along to the event there’s the chance to win another £250 for the best haiku tweeted on the night, plus you will be helping us in our attempt to set a record for the most haikus tweeted at a single event.

MATRIX Science Poetry Night is part of the NI Science Festival and is one of over 150 events taking place across Northern Ireland in February. The poetry night will feature readings from Professor Iggy McGovern and Jean Bleakney, both celebrated Irish poets with a scientific background. The event will be held on Tuesday 21 February 6.30 – 8.30 at the Black Box, Hill Street, Belfast. You can book via www.nisciencefestival.com

Your haiku can be profound or humorous, about the big issues or the small, generic or personal but it must be about science and technology. Topics could be about climate change or the pleasure of writing great code, the beauty of equations or the possible dangers of GM crops.

Bryan Keating, MATRIX Chairman said, “The MATRIX Poetry competition is designed to illustrate the symbiotic relationship between the arts and science.  While the two may appear to be at polar ends of the spectrum they are inextricable linked, with many of the world’s most esteemed scientists excelling in the arts too. In fact the origin of the word technology comes from the ancient Greek word for art, techne.

“The beauty of haikus lies in their simplicity and elegance, and the secret of a good haiku is to put two images or ideas together in a surprising or insightful way. For example:

“science on its own

set aside from everyday life

is less than perfect”

Hilary Copeland, General Manager of The John Hewitt Society added, “John Hewitt was a proponent of the haiku form and observed similarities between this Japanese art form and early Irish poetry traditions of the ninth century. The Society is delighted to be part of the NI Science Festival in 2017, and we’ll host a panel of poets who write at the cross-section of science and art and take inspiration from all sorts of sources, from the natural world to science and medicine. We’re looking forward to reading and hearing the haiku submissions from all the participants.’

By |2017-02-06T10:40:08+00:00February 6th, 2017|STEM|0 Comments