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Seeds Issues a Spine Poem Challenge for National Poetry Month

Last April, we issued a challenge – a challenge to create poetry using only the spines of the books on your shelves.

This year, we’re doing it again. Why?

  • Because April is National Poetry Month.
  • Because we all need a little distraction from the global epidemic that’s shaken our reality.
  • Because Seeds is about making education fun.
  • Because poetry is art, and art is beauty, and social distancing is ugly and terribly necessary.

Not reason enough?

  • Because COVID-19 already robbed us of our ability to celebrate many of the obscure “holidays”: National Panda Day (3/16), St. Patrick’s Day (3/17), the first day of Spring (3/19), National Ravioli Day (3/20), National Chip & Dip Day (3/23), National Waffle Day (3/25), Children’s Picture Book Day (3/28) and National Tater Day (3/31).

(Editor’s Note: It seems most of those are motivated by treats… so missing them might not be a bad thing for our waistlines.)

We’re drawing a line at giving up National Poetry Month. The Spine Poetry Challenge is ON!

In fact, we’re doubling down on our challenge. That’s right, it’s a DOUBLE challenge. Students, volunteers, tutors, and other literacy groups: we want to see your spine poems! And, we dare you to read more this month. (Since we’re from Cleveland, we double-dog-dare you.)



  • Create a clever spine poem and submit it to for a chance to be featured on our social media page and website.
  • Read 30 minutes each day. Most of us are sheltering in place right now, so we’ve got a little extra time on our hands. Read poems. Read novels. Read magazines. Read to your children. Read to the dog. Read to yourself.

The 30-minute a day Reading Challenge is being conducted on the honor system. Remember, reading shouldn’t feel like a chore. Here are five ways to learn to love reading.

We’ll share our staff’s 2020 Spine Poems on social media throughout the month and collect them all here. In the meantime, check out last year’s poems.

# # # KLK

The daughter
Under pressure,
The comfort of secrets:
More than we can tell.
Gravit changes genius
Bird by bird.
The last good kiss –
make it scream, make it burn!
The making of the President 1968.
The selling of the President 1968.
A breach of trust,
den of thieves.