Over the last few years, I’ve been fortunate to review Annette Simon’s books, Robot Zombie Frankenstein and Robot Burp Head Smartypants. And as much as I love those two robots, it’s following her on Facebook where I found something I never get too much of: her book spine poetry.
“I started playing with spine poems, or ‘centos,’ shortly after I began working at our local indie, The BookMark, in 2011,” Annette told me when I asked how she started creating these wonderful mini-poems. “A perk of being a bookseller is getting the chance to read books not yet published,” she continued, “and one day a colleague, Pat Laurence, and I starting playing with the fun titles of the advance copies piled on the cart. I had my camera with me, and one thing led to another. I didn’t really know spine poetry was a ‘thing’ until the store received Nina Katchadourian’s Sorted Books. Then the blog Brain Pickings mentioned it, and I learned that Travis Jonker at School Library Journal had been talking spine poems since 2010. So they get the credit; I get to play. Won’t you join us?”
Because I never tire of seeing them and in honor of National Poetry Month, I asked Annette if she’d share her favorites with us, so here they are along with a few of my favorites she’s created as well.
Annette prefaced this one with, “For those who scribble, scratch, draft, and doodle. Yay, you!”
We’ve all had this day:
And this feeling:
For all those graduations and birthdays and awards and futures waiting to happen:
What I want in friends:
Career planning? This one’s for you:
If you’ve developed a close relationship with your electronics, you’ll understand:
If only the answers were inside:
We all learned this truth:
Watch out for bears and dragons. Especially if you’re hungry. Or if they’re hungry, come to think of it.