Marianne Musgrove

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)