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 fourth Poetry Competition to highlight the links between science and the arts. Two prizes of £250 are available – one for STEM students and professionals and another that is open to anyone.

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 entries is the 24thFebruary. If you are studying a STEM qualification in Further or Higher Education, or if you work in a STEM role, please use the #MatrixHaikuSTEM hashtag to be entered into the STEM prize. STEM roles include IT professionals, Life & Health Sciences professionals, engineers and so on.

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.

Dr Bryan Keating CBE, former MATRIX Chair and sponsor of the competition, 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”