NaPoWriMo 2016 Day 10 : Cracking the Spine



For today, I chose to do the prompt posted on


Today’s prompt comes to us from Lillian Hallberg. She challenges us to write a “book spine” poem. This involves taking a look at your bookshelves, and writing down titles in order (or rearranging the titles) to create a poem. Some fun images of book spine poems can be found here. If you want to take things a step further, Lillian suggests gathering a list of titles from your shelves (every third or fifth book, perhaps, if you have a lot) and using the titles, as close to the originals as possible, to create a poem that is seeded throughout with your own lines, interjections, and thoughts. Happy writing!


I’d been working on a 10-word, 48-hour contest poem for the CV2 annual April event (sorry registration closed Apr. 4) and there was just not enough hours today to tackle an intricate prompt. This one was indeed, a change of pace.  I simply scooped up an armful of poetry books and used those as my source. For the poem I selected about two thirds of the titles, and inserted four words (in parentheses) to round it out. The names of the poets appear below, in the order I used their titles.


Cracking the Spine

spine and hip bones

wood engraving (Wikipedia) spine and hip bones

Sailing the Forest
On Glassy Wings,
The Eternal Ones of Dream,
Coping with Emotions and Otters  (play)
Hide & Seek.

Stowaways (go)
Sprinting from the Graveyard.

Some bones and a story (make)
(A) Satisfying Clicking Sound.

Just Saying.

Carol A. Stephen
April 10, 2016

English: Skeleton animation


In order, titles from Ariel Gordon, Goran Simić, Robin Robertson, Anne Szumigalski, James Tate, Dina Del Bucchia, Susan Glickman, Charles Wright, Alice Major, Jason Guriel, Rae Armantrout

1 thought on “NaPoWriMo 2016 Day 10 : Cracking the Spine

  1. Pingback: 2016 The Top 12 Viewed Quillfyre Poetry Posts | Quillfyre

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