Book Spine Poetry

The Madwoman and the Blindman
Exploring the Invisible
Colors Everywhere
Opening and Closing
Devotion and Defiance
The Promise of Joy

Celebrate With Us

Readers should post their “Book Spine Poems” on social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) using the hashtag #FamilyReadathon and tagging the Library Foundation and BookSpring. The top posts will be eligible for special prizes! Posts will be judged based on the quality of the poems they create. Be imaginative and have fun! The contest closes at 11:59 PM on February 20, 2022, a week after the Readathon reading period ends. We will repost and share your creativity to help promote the Readathon and cheer on Readathoners! 

How to Participate

Book spine poetry is considered “found” poetry. That means it is a poem made using words from other sources. You, the poet, aren’t writing the words, trying to fit a form, or looking for words that rhyme. Instead, you are going on a hunt for language and arranging books so their titles to create a poem.

Okay, ready to make your own book spine poem? Let’s do it!

Step 1: First, you’ll go on a hunt for language by finding books from around your house or from your local library.

Step 2: Next, write down any titles that look interesting to you. Don’t write down every book on the shelf, that would take you all day! Instead, select your favorite 10-20 titles. As you write down the titles, you might notice that some of the titles seem to go together or begin to tell a story.

Step 3: Once you’ve selected some titles that go together well, take those books and begin stacking them so that the book spines can be read from top to bottom. You can change the order as you go in order to find a flow that works best for your poem. If there’s a missing idea or “line,” you might want to go back to a shelf to look for another title that would be the perfect fit.

Step 4: Snap a photo of your Book Spine Poetry creation and post to Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Be sure to tag BookSpring and the Library Foundation and use the hashtag #FamilyReadathonPlease post by 11:59 PM on February 20, 2021, the contest closing date, in order to be considered for prizes. By tagging The Library Foundation and BookSpring, you agree to have your entry shared and re-posted. All posts must be public in order to be shared and reposted. 

Examples of Book Spine Poems

A Good Day
Look! Look! Look!
The Little Red Fish
The Missing Piece

A Raisin in the Sun
In the time of the butterflies
To kill a mockingbird
In other words
The burning house
A nest of ninnies
Born to run

Revenge of the she-punks
The girl in the flammable skirt
Driving without a license
Black holes, black stockings
Girls who wore black
Their eyes were watching God
Wait till you see me dance

What is amazing
On earth we’re briefly gorgeous
The little edges
Steal away
Rising, falling, hovering
Little Stranger
It becomes you