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Poetry on Spines

OPL’s first ever ‘Poetry on spines’ contest takes place April 7-11

The Ottawa Public Library is running a 5-day contest contest called ‘Poetry on spines / Poésie sur dos’ to celebrate National Poetry Month.

How to play?

The subject of the photo should be book spines. Align them in a creative way to make poetry with the found titles. Here’s one:

spine poetry

Quirk Books has some stacking your books examples. Need more inspiration? 100 Scope Notes did spine poems in 2011.


English and French entries will be accepted from April 7-11. Take your own photo of a stack of books from your shelves or what you find at the library.

Send your picture (in a decently sharp legible size) to

Include your name, phone number, home branch and Twitter handle (if you have one) in the email.

Submissions will be judged over the April 12-13 weekend by Pearl Pirie (English) and Gilles Latour (French).

Winners, one in English and one in French, will be announced/contacted Monday, April 14.

last temptation, courage my love
Last Temptation, Courage My Love

Two stores in Kensington Market make a kind of poetry side by side.

The potential for poetry is everywhere.

Related posts:

  1. Neato Poetry pays, in swag. The Ottawa Public Library ran a contest from April 6-16. I tweeted about it. You can see the winning poetry tweets in English and French by...
  2. More Spines, Good Bytown Bookshop mentions a study (published in the journal Research in Social Stratification and Mobility) on books and success. They found a correlation between simply having books around the house...
  3. Press Release: POETRY CONTEST: After Al Purdy Following Al Purdy’s death in 2001, The Al Purdy A-Frame Trust was formed in order to save the poet’s home in Ameliasburgh, Ontario from the wrecking ball by transforming it...

Categories: PSA, Poetry.

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  1. […] other news, you have from yesterday (for time-travellers) until the 11th to make a poem from book spines and get it to the Ottawa Public Library. […]