National Poetry Month — Day 1

If you’ve been following this blog for a while you know that during National Poetry Month I like to do some sort of month-long celebration of verse. Sometimes it has taken the form of a poem contest. The last couple of years, I’ve curated a Poem-a-Day series, which has been hugely fun. This year I want to do a little of this, a little of that, to reflect the enormous variety of things to appreciate about poetry. I will never be able to present everything in a month, but that’s okay.

Today will be the first of probably a fair few Book Spine Poems, because I love them. If you’ve not heard of this phenomenon before, BSPs are found poems made by putting the titles on the spines of books together. Every year at my school, the librarian and I sponsor a Book Spine Poetry Contest for the high school students, and frequently one of our teachers, IT wizard Harlan Howe, “primes the pump” on the first day with a BSP of his own. They’re usually really, really good and so entertaining, and this year’s is no exception.


good news for a change / everlasting / geek love / pushing the limits / i am the messenger / out of nowhere / girls like us


I’d love to know what you’re doing for National Poetry Month, if anything. If you’d like to share your own poems with me and possibly have them show up here on my blog (I still have a few spots for this month left open), please email me at with your poem and the subject line “Poem-a-Day series” so it doesn’t get lost in my inbox or spam filter.

Happy Poetry Month!


Featured Poet: Me (Sort Of)

Tonight I want to share with you a Book Spine Poem I composed for my school’s library contest. Mine is not an entry, but just a sample to show the students what the idea of a Book Spine Poem is. I made this one from some of the random discarded novels from the library that I’d moved into my classroom for the kids to read if they wanted.


Book Spine Poem



Here’s the text of the poem, which comes from the titles on the spines of the books involved.

the cavalier in the yellow doublet
the guy not taken
the fencing master

shopaholic ties the knot
with a tangled skein

Jane and the man of the cloth
shopaholic and baby