Saturday, March 25, 2023

Soft Landing - A Book Spine Poem #SOL23

Anyone who participates in the Slice of Life Challenge learns very quickly just how important writing communities are to their growth and confidence as a writer. Knowing that someone has read our words motivates us to continue. With that, I try very hard to comment on different blogs each day as well as supporting those bloggers I already know. Keeping up with this can be very difficult as it takes a lot of time.

I belong to another writing community called Teach Write, and each month we have a challenge where we write together on Zoom and then share that writing. Last night was our writing party where the theme was "Spring into Micro Writing." 

Because many of us are already participating in the slice of the life challenge, we decided to keep it simple. We could choose any type of small writing from 6-word memoirs to two-sentence stories or to poetry. Check out Cathy Hutter's 6-word movie plots! They are amazing!

I decided to open up two boxes of books that I have at home and write a book spine poem. This isn't as easy as it may appear because I always need a word or two to make it say what I want. But I kept to the rules and "wrote" this poem.



under the broken sky

divided we fall

ten thousand tries


a soft place to land.

This is also a fun writing activity to do with students of all ages. If you don't want them to "rearrange" your classroom library, here are two alternatives to try.

  1. Type out a list of titles and let them write from the list. You can even make several different lists so students to have some variety in which to choose titles. 
  2. Type out a list but cut the titles apart so they can rearrange them in different orders to create their poems.
However you decide to organize it, students will enjoy this fun creative way of "writing" poems.


Join Two Writing Teachers and other teacher-writers as we 
share a slice of life during the month of March. 


  1. Leigh Anne, I have never tried a book spine poem, and I have it on my list of slice ideas. I think I am going to take your title prompt list and pick a number of them and "write" a poem. I think my students would enjoy this. I love how your poem came together to end with "a soft place to land." Thank you for the inspiration today. I am so bummed I missed the writing party.

  2. Love this writing idea as I enjoy writing poetry and especially found poetry. I have an office full of books. I think I'll take a photo next week of a chunk and see what I can create. I agree with your comment that it takes time to not only blog, but to also comment on others. I sure have enjoyed reading your blogs this month.

  3. "A soft place to land" is a lovely final line. I have been saving book spine poetry and will enjoy playing with book stacks in the next few days. Your words about commenting really resonated for me today. I have been struggling to find the time and energy for commenting with everything else that is going on (I mostly finally have time in the evenings, but by then I'm trying to get off of screens to give my brain a rest!). Of course being behind on commenting during the week means I have the treat of catching up over the weekend. So many wonderful slices to visit today!

  4. A lovely book spine poem. Now I want to know more about these titles. The only two I "know" are Everlost and Unbroken.

  5. I started at the bottom. I've already requested A Soft Place to Land. Compelling, heartfelt, friendship, hope, courage, connection. Who can resist word like these?

  6. I like book spine poetry. I enjoy the poems and get curious about the titles.

  7. Thanks for the shout out above! I have only tried Book Spine poetry once before and that was with my students using books in my class library. Now, I am thinking I will try it with some in my home. As I read your poem, it progressed from a feeling of uncertainty to one of safety and comfort with that last title.