Monday 6 March 2017


My local library branch has begun to display book-spine poetry. These are poems built with the titles of books as printed on their spines. To create the poem, you stack the books in the order you want.

Artist Nina Katchadourian tends to get credit on the Internet for this art form. Her website has many examples of her work.

Book spine poetry is a form of cento, a genre of poetry extent since the first centuries C.E. in which the lines come from other people's poems. 

I have books. I have been known to write poetry. Why not, then?

If you want to write
Primal myths
Daughter of Earth
Unwinding threads
Writing down the bones
Making a Difference
You can't go home again

The wars
inside memory
fatal passage
under the ribs of death
on the road
all on fire
under the banner of heaven
never let me go

The technique reminds me of using poetry magnets. The writing process is less flexible but permits flights of fancy that might not otherwise arise.

The waves
to the lighthouse
the known world