By Susan H.

Book spine poetry can be a great way to get creative with what you have at home. This idea originally came from PBS Digital Studios’s The Art Assignment, which recommended sorting books (whether from the library or your own collection) to create a portrait of a loved one – or even a self-portrait!

Whether you’re writing about yourself, a friend, an interest, or something else completely, the variety of titles on your shelves can combine in completely unexpected ways.

Get Started

Step 1: Browse through your shelves (or our catalog!) to find titles that stand out or go together. Books that start with verbs or have very short titles are great since they can “glue” other titles together.

Step 2: Put all the books you picked out together and start matching titles to see what fits.

Step 3: Once you have a few that fit together, start laying with the order to create your poem.

Step 4: Stack your books and align the titles on the spine until they are even.


Don’t be afraid to play around with the rules of this project. Feel free to add props, change the way your books are arranged, or create a setting around them. The sky is the limit!



Don’t be afraid to get a little silly with it either.

If you don’t have many books, a DVD or CD collection will also make an excellent project – or you can always borrow some from EVPL, who has all three!

We’d love to see your poems, so please send your pictures to us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Susan H.

Susan H.

With 8 locations throughout Vanderburgh County, EVPL is ready to discover, explore, and connect WITH you! We encourage you to uncover new things, revisit old favorites, and to engage with us along the way.

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