April is the month to celebrate poetry. April is also the month we librarians and book lovers celebrate National Library Week. This year we took the opportunity to unite these celebrations and ran two successful poetry events: Book Spine Poetry and a poetry reading by UWM faculty and students.
I was really happy to bring book spine poetry to the library. Ever since I saw a blog post featuring the author’s spine poetry I’d hoped we’d get the opportunity to create some book spine poetry in the library. Book spine poetry invites people to look at a book differently, to activate their creative side, and discover new books to read. It was an easy event to coordinate. We pulled two carts of books from our Browsing Collection (we keep the pretty covers for those books making them more attractive for making poetry). We created a simple poster outlining the three steps to creating a book spine poem. Set up a table and white board and then let our users make poems. There was a lot of interest. A couple folks posted pictures of their prized poems on our facebook page. We also captured many poems and published an album on facebook. When the event was over and we culled the books to return there was only one cart of books left. So many folks left with some new books to read.
We also partnered with our Creative Writing folks to bring poets into the library. The staff in Creative Writing were great to work with and super supportive of the collaboration. About 40 people came to the library Grind to hear the poets read from their work . The event was such a success that we hope to be able to host poetry readings every semester!