Marianne Musgrove
February 21st, 2014

Unsticking Stuckness: the Unexpected Benefits of Book Spine Poetry

I found myself struggling with writer’s block today. I was a bug stuck to the fly paper of my plot, flapping about going nowhere. It was time to free myself and, as so often happens, that required doing something completely different. So I set aside my novel and decided to have a go at book spine poetry.

Here’s my first effort:

Book spine poem: The LIst of My Desires, Chocolat, A Room with a View, I Can Jump Puddles, Available Light, The Getting of Wisdom, Blue Shoes and Happiness, An Authentic Life, Led by Love.

For those of you who haven’t heard of this increasingly popular art form, it’s very simple and a lot of fun.

How do you make a book spine poem?

Step 1

Raid your bookshelf for interesting titles. Each title will be a line in your poem.

Step 2

Arrange the titles so they run together to make poem.

Step 3

Stack them in a pile and photograph it.

Step 4

Send the photo to your friends and family and await their admiration!


If you have a lot of book shelves, you might want to write down where you found each book so it’s easier to put them back later. I learned this the hard way!

If you go to school, have a chat to the librarian and see if they’d be up for a book spine poetry challenge.

Here’s another one of mine, this time on a serious topic:

Who is coming to our house book spine poem

And a final one to close:

Way of the Heart book spine poem

And remember, “There’s no money in poetry, but there’s no poetry in money, either.” (Robert Graves)




15 Responses to “Unsticking Stuckness: the Unexpected Benefits of Book Spine Poetry”

  1. dear ms musgrove

    i love your story the worry tree it was really funny my class mates a little joke of it. miss johnson my teacher ask some question about the worry tree book. i like the part when oaf was

  2. Dear Ms Musgrove

    I love your story the worry tree it was awesome I love the part when Oaf was spying on Juliet on the toilet. My question is what made you start making book.

    • Marianne Musgrove

      Hi Isaac,

      Thanks for contacting me. I’m really glad to hear you and your class enjoyed my book. I’m planning to write back to your class so your teacher should receive a reply from me when you get back from holidays. I promise to answer all your questions in that letter including what inspired me to write The Worry Tree.

      All the best and happy reading 🙂


  3. Dear Marianne,
    My 5 year old daughter, Sophie LOVES your book, The Forget-Me-Not-Fairies… She insists we take it everywhere with us. She has read it repeatedly and it is her favorite book (she is a fantastic reader & reads books intended for children years older than she). She even often sleeps with it.
    It is so BEAUTIFUL but HEAVY !! Not easy to take all over the place & the world with us!! Please please please, is there a future Kindle or iBooks version of the book, for the iPad or Kindle App/Reader!!! I would buy it instantly!!
    Thank you and Best Regards,
    CPT Fiona H Peden, US Army Retired (82nd Airborne Division)

    • Marianne Musgrove

      Hi Fiona,
      I’m so pleased to hear your daughter loves the Forget-me-not Fairies collection. Yes, it is rather heavy! An e-book version is a good idea. If we ever do a sequel, I will suggest it 🙂 In the mean time, please give Sophie my best wishes. (It’s a nice coincidence her name is the same as one of the main characters.)

      Marianne Musgrove

  4. Giraffes are AWESOME!

    Hi Marianne I love your books especially “Don’t breathe a word” I love the nickname you made up for the grandpa it is very clever. How long did it take to make up the nickname?

    • Marianne Musgrove

      Hi Ella,

      I agree – giraffes are awesome! Great to hear you’ve been enjoying Don’t Breathe a Word as well as my other books. I borrowed the nickname Pirate from my own grandpa. His children (my mum and her brothers) used to jokingly call him that because he had a ‘sunken chest’.

      Thanks for getting in touch and happy reading!

      Marianne x

  5. Giraffes are AWESOME!

    I love giraffes

  6. Giraffes are AWESOME!

    Hi, My class this term is doing an Author Study I choose you because your books are great to read. I have chosen 3 of our books: Don’t breathe a word, Lucy the lie detector and Lucy the good. I love them so far!!!!!!!

    • Marianne Musgrove

      Hi Ella,
      That’s great to hear you’re doing an author study on me. I feel very honoured! I hope your report went well. I was born in Sydney, by the way, in the seventies.
      All the best,
      Marianne 🙂

  7. Giraffes are AWESOME!

    Hi Marianne Musgrove when where you born??????

  8. Giraffes are AWESOME!

    Thanks Marianne,
    I would just like to know if u have any sibilings. If u do are they younger or older????

  9. Giraffes are AWESOME!

    And what motivated/ inspired u to be an author??

  10. Giraffes are AWESOME!

    I am bugging u but what are your hobbies???

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