Summary:Teacher-leader Cindy O’Donnell-Allen shares how easy (and therapeutic) creating book spine poetry can be. Originally published on April 7, 2020
Yesterday, after getting bad COVID news about a dear friend’s husband, my powers of concentration evaporated completely. I just sat in my office and stared into space. And sat. And stared some more.
Until the books on my shelves took on lives of their own and started rearranging themselves in my mind like The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore. And probably, just for the purpose of restoring some paltry semblance of order in the world, I got up from my chair and made a book spine poem.
As I sorted books into piles, more poems started falling (literally) into place, so I’ve decided to do a little series called “Frames of Mind,” as indicated by the red book on the left-hand side of the picture. The title of the poem is on top of the stacks of books. You read the poem from start to finish by reading the book spine on the bottom of the stack all the way up to the top, like this:
HOW WRITERS WORK
If you want to write,
Take time for you.
Pose, wobble, flow.
Walk out, walk on.
Let your life speak,
Because writing matters.
What is on your mind? And what are your bookshelves saying to you? NWP would love to hear—and see—it! So follow the super-simple directions below, and once you’ve snapped the photo, you can share your book spine poems on social media.
According to scholastic.com, “Book spine poetry is so simple but creates intriguingly artistic results. Just grab a bunch of books with interesting titles and stack them up to create a juicy column of poetry. Snap a photo of your masterpiece and presto, you’re done!”