Since we were unable to meet in person for a social event this semester, our staff connected through a virtual book spine poetry reading, a great option that was both bookish and fun. Over video chat, each staff member shared a picture of their book stack, where they’d arranged book titles into a poem of their own. We found our results engaging and thought we would share them below!
Wicked headstrong, big, little lies FOOL wise blood.
While creating this book spine poetry about the steadfastness of lies, I had to keep reminding myself to work with the titles I had on my bookshelf and to not get distracted by my wandering imagination. I needed to restrict my vocabulary to that of the authors in my library. In this challenging writing practice, I was reminded that limitations force us to be creative in new ways. What at first seems to be an unfortunate obstacle can actually help us to think differently and to create uniquely. As many of us find ourselves in uncertain and seemingly impossible situations during this new season, I think one hopeful silver lining is that this resilient, creative force we each have is able to thrive in moments of limitation.
Payton, Managing Editor
Losers. Dispatches from the other side of the scoreboard; Great expectations. Girl, wash your face, Eat, pray, love, I'd give anything.
My poem is about the struggle with perfectionism (very close to my heart) and the growth/pain of learning to accept weaknesses, picking yourself up, and not letting accomplishments or met/unmet expectations define your worth.
Makenna, Communications Coordinator
This is What Happy Looks Like This is what happy looks like: a light in the attic, love and gelato, our family recipes. Happier at home: no one can take your place.
I dedicated this poem to my twin sister, who recently returned from eighteen months away from home on a service mission in another country. It represents our experience in two-week quarantine at home which was full of love and happiness through our reunion together as a family.
Roxanne, Staff Writer & Communications Coordinator Apprentice
Diary of an Oxygen Thief A Dance with Dragons, Imaginary Friend. A Wrinkle in Time, The Fault in our Stars. Two by Two, The Tenth of December.
The process behind this poem was a little chaotic. I essentially pulled out all of the books I have from my bookshelf at my college housing and stacked them in various ways, but it took a while to find a combination that I liked. Finally, I decided Diary of an Oxygen Thief was a great poem title, so I started there and moved down the line. I wanted to make sure it flowed like a poem, so I made sure some titles had determiners in them like “a” and “the” to add some separation. While it is still kind of list-like to me, I liked that it almost reads like thoughts or words someone (an oxygen thief?) jotted down quickly in a notebook. It adds an element of mysteriousness and that kind of became the mood of the poem in the end!
Edward, Staff Writer
Pity the Reader
We the Animals
In the Dream House
I composed my poem specifically about the sound, wanting to put unique titles together.
Abhilasha, Staff Writer
Matters of the heart Trouble the saints— The cheapest nights, Dead land.
When we’re emotionally involved, the lines between right and wrong get blurred. Matters of the heart need a margin of human error. Also, the most imperfect things can be beautified by a loving gaze—the cheapest nights, a stretch of barren land.
Jade, Staff Writer
How to Stop Worrying and Start Living: Now that you're here, Don't be a stranger. Rise and shine, Chasers of the light: Start something that matters.
When creating my book spine poem, my mind immediately went to the current state of the world and the fear and anxiety we are all undoubtedly feeling. My poem is meant to be a response to this and a reminder that the important things in our lives (connection, love, meaning) still exist amid the uncertainties. While worrying is an inevitable part of life, it’s important to remind ourselves that we can still choose to focus on the important things in life that bring us joy and a sense of meaning
Mackenzie, Staff Writer
One Hundred Years of Solitude: The Stranger Ruins All the Bright Places
My process for creating this poem was to try to construct a narrative, so I looked for a book title that contained a verb and worked from there. I also tried to incorporate different genres of books I liked so that it represented what I like to read.
Erin, Staff Writer
Lost Souls Waiting On Earth we are briefly Gorgeous Mumbo Jumbo
My book spine poem was created by grouping together titles that evoked similar feelings or images. Although I was working with a limited collection of my books, I enjoy how the poem turned out. My untitled poem is about the feelings of confusion and uncertainty that are plentiful in the world right now. For me, the poem acknowledges the beauty of being human in a largely chaotic world.
Sharon, Staff Writer
"no rules!" RULES exciting times but hey, kiddo look both ways
As my daughter turns 18, her thoughts are consumed with the “no rules” lifestyle that she believes college will bring her. My poem is about my acknowledgement that these are indeed exciting times, but hey kiddo, you have to look both ways and not get tripped up by your own sense of freedom.
Amanda, Staff Writer
Into the wild, wise child What dreams may come With wicked, reckless Beautiful creatures Catching fire Crazy making Writing magic
My inspiration came from Reckless and Beautiful Creatures being next to each other on my bookshelf. This poem is about being a writer, and how the writing process includes a little bit of chaos and darkness.
Bonus: Mackenzie, Staff Writer
History A Dark History, The Tudors. The Source: Six Wives. —The Executioner's Journal.
I used my history books to construct a little joke about the craziness that is Tudor history. Enjoy!