You can find “Episode 19: From volunteering to the art of the Romanian verse” on Spotify, iTunes, Deezer, Overcast, and TuneIn.

Ever wondered what a syllable square is? What about a fib poem? And what do these poetry-meets-math verses have to do with Romania? Our latest Wo/anderers guest, JoAnne Growney from the United States, untangles all these mysteries by inviting us on her rich, artistic, and science-inspired journey. A professor of mathematics at Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania, JoAnne brought her unique passion for math-infused poetry unknowingly to Romania when she first visited the country during a teaching exchange experience in Deva, Hunedoara. There, she started out by teaching English to middle school students at the local “Andrei Mureșanu” high school. But her experience in this new land expanded exponentially (alliteration intended) with the help of a group of Romanian mathematicians, who introduced JoAnne to a new world of unconventional math poetry from this side of the world. Together with her new friends and her dedicated students, she published the results of an elaborate translation project of Romanian authors such as Ion Barbu, Ileana Mălăncioiu and Nichita Stănescu, among others. JoAnne’s sensibility and love for her Romanian adventure also inspired her to write original poems about those unique encounters with locals and with the land itself from her visits, poems that she brought home, to the United States. Enjoy this creativity-first discussion with JoAnne Growney as she takes us on her inspired journey to Romania in this episode of the Wo/anderers podcast.

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