Looking into the none-too-distant horizon, I see that April (a.k.a. National Poetry Month) is fast approaching. Last year, inspired by artist Nina Katchadourian, I tried my hand at book spine poetry and came away convinced that this was just the sort of thing that kids would take to. I shared my experience on the ALSC Blog and encouraged others to try it with their students or young patrons and send me photos. I posted a gallery of student poems on my blog, 100 Scope Notes.
The results were a lovely sight to see:
How do you create your own? Here are my tips for kids and teens:
1. Check out last year’s book spine poem gallery for inspiration.
2. Once you’re in the library, start looking at titles to see what strikes you. Arrange and rearrange in your head. The best part of this type of poetry is the fact that you don’t know where you’ll end up.
3. Have a pencil and paper with you to write down titles that stand out — you can go back to them later.
4. Don’t be afraid to use the library catalog to search for titles with exact words or phrases that you want.
If you try book spine poetry with kids, snap pictures and send them my way (scopenotes at gmail dot com), and I’ll include them in a gallery of student work going up at 100 Scope Notes on April 1st. I’ll add to it throughout the entire month
So let’s celebrate National Poetry Month in style, with a form of poetry that just about any kid can get into.