Spine Poems:
An Eclectic Collection
of Found Verse
for Book Lovers

From former bookseller Annette Dauphin Simon, this charming, original collection of spine poems––found verse created from stacked book titles––offers humorous and heartfelt mini-stories of love, loss, work, play, parenting, politics, pop culture, and home. With 110 color photos and hundreds of quotes, fun facts, and other bookish bits, Spine Poems speaks to the literary soul, the avid reader, and the poet within us all. (Harper Design/HarperCollins)

Read an excerpt on The Millions. See more in The Simple Things  — and on Literary Hub.

Spine Poems is the bibliophile’s equivalent of playing with food. The conceit: stack books, arranging titles to create social commentary moonlighting as found poetry. A sample two-liner courtesy of Sarah Frier and Joan Didion: ‘No Filter/Let Me Tell You What I Mean.’ Accompanying notes and quotes add another dimension.”

NPR Best Books of the Year

(categories: Funny Stuff, It’s All Geek to Me, and Short Stories, Essays, and Poetry)

“The concept seems so simple, but Simon turned it into something complex and spectacular. What fun it is to have these facts and quotes accompany the poems, especially with the beautifully composed photos. Spine Poems is funny, delightful, informative, and touching.”

––Southern Book Prize Finalist


A fun gift for any book hoarder. It’ll surely inspire you to start mixing up your stacks.”

–– Ron Charles, The Washington Post


Witty and inspiring … I am comfortably in bed as I write but must get up to make such a poem immediately.”

––Jan Karon, #1 New York Times bestselling author


“For nearly 30 years, I’ve been making what I call ‘Sorted Books,’ or what Annette Dauphin Simon calls ‘spine poetry,’ and I definitely understand Annette’s obsession! With this book, she makes clever, whimsical, quirky and memorable contributions to the genre of found poetry.”

––Nina Katchadourian, author of Sorted Books

 “A delightful gift for any book lover! Warning: May cause a compulsion to rearrange your bookshelves.”

––Mary Laura Philpott, author of national bestsellers Bomb Shelter and I Miss You When I Blink


“Through the seemingly simple exercise of puzzling the spines of books, she creates poetry that is at once poignant, lovely, goofy, whimsical, surprising––and, yes, brilliant. You will never look at a bookshelf the same way again.”

––Susan Coll, author of Bookish People


“These spreads of found verse from the random (and not-so-random) arrangements of book titles are a bibliophile’s delight, and will add many to your must-read pile.”

––The Globe and Mail, Best Books to Gift


“A well-crafted poem is a thing of beauty, certainly, but ‘found’ poetry is somehow more magical: two words that accidentally rhyme, or mirror each other, or simply form a new meaning by accident feels like a happy secret. We were enchanted.”

––The Simple Things 

Interesting social commentary with cutesy images of poetry.”

–– Andrew Limbong, NPR’s Book of the Day podcast, with Jane Clayson, WBUR


“A goofy gift with some surprisingly weighty contents.”

–– Sloane Crosley, Departures, Best Books to Take You into Fall


A discovery on every page! Inspires a joy for poetry and sparks a game.” 

–– Alicia D. Williams, Newbery-honored author of Genesis Begins Again

Honored to make the fall catalogue cover of iconic indie, Square Books

At once funny and deeply felt, these poems beg for interaction. I read them aloud, I looked for the books behind the spines, and I pulled a few titles off the shelf to make poems of my own.”

–– Liz Garton Scanlon, author of the Caldecott-honored All the World


“Verses range from hilarious two-line quips and truisms to quirky observations about life and love, to insightful social commentary about the strange times we live in. Bursting with charm and joie de vivre, these friendly, visually appealing collages are accessible and oh-so-relatable, capable of turning skeptics into instant poetry lovers.”

–– Jama Kim Rattigan, Alphabet Soup


Spine Poems isn’t sitting on my shelf. It’s living on my desk, a beautiful hardback with embossed title, filled with the titles of 323 more books (I counted) waiting to be discovered in an inspiring and delightful format. With every page turn, I declared out loud, ‘THIS one is my favorite!’ … until the next page. Split into categories from business to romance to pop culture, there’s a spine poem for just about any day or mood, like a warm text from a friend, short and sweet, and perhaps with more to discover behind the spines.”

–– GeekMom


Fantastic. Gorgeous. Clever. This is so great. It’s just so cool.”

–– Zibby Owens, Zibby’s Holiday Gift Guide


“A birthday cake slice of a book: delightful, colorful, short, sweet, and satisfying. But the best part might be the inspiration to make poems of your own.”

–– David Humphreys, Strong Sense of Place


What a treat for any lover of books, words, poetry, wonderment. Simon has organized poems into categories within Fiction and Nonfiction, and has paired them with related writings to inspire imagination and delight.” 

–– Rona Brinlee, owner of The BookMark, Neptune Beach, FL


I could not resist the turn of the page, where I found more titles from Walter Murch, Toni Morrison, Antoinette Portis, Tiffany D. Jackson, Dr. Seuss, and Phuc Tran. I could go on, but I do encourage you to have Spine Poems on your coffee table for all to enjoy. These poems are my kind of haiku.”

–– Emöke, founder of Malaprop’s Bookstore/Café, Asheville, NC


A bibliophile’s delight…. Every two-page spread offers a visual treat, a verse and fun facts. The gold-embossed cover hints at the biblio-rich entertainment inside this delightful collection.”

–– Cheryl McKeon, Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza, Albany, NY


“So this is really cool. When you stack books on top of each other, then read the titles all the way down, you get a poem. And she’s done that cleverly with an incredible number of poems with an incredible number of books.”

–– Adah Fitzgerald, owner of Main Street Books, Davidson, NC


An absolute feast for book lovers! Simon had me at the dedication poem, of course: Bibliophile/You Are a Badass/I Wrote This for You. Loaded with bookish content on each page –– artfully-paired quotes, fun facts, and more – getting lost in this book feels like spending the day getting lost in a bookstore. These cleverly and carefully-crafted poems cover a broad range of topics and emotions, and in scanning the spines I see some of my favorites, and more that I’ll be adding to my TBR pile.  The perfect gift for readers everywhere!”

–– Nicole Yasinsky, novel. bookstore, Memphis, TN


I can’t wait to put this into the hands of every book lover I know!”

–– Johanna Albrecht, McIntyre’s Books, Pittsboro, NC

Found at your favorite bookseller

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Or local library