Poetry Friday: Prescott Librarians Host Book Spine Poetry Contest

May 3, 2019

Finals Week is the busiest week of the year for librarians at Prescott's Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Every study room is full, every chair is taken, students sprawl on the floor in front of textbooks and laptops. To ease the tension, librarians Jessica Quarles and Robin Vickery held a Book Spine Poetry Contest, encouraging a little fun in the midst of finals stress. In this week's Poetry Friday segment, they explain how it works and read some of the submissions. 

Patricia Watkins' submission to the Book Spine Poetry Contest
Credit Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University


JQ: I’m Jessica Quarles , and I’m a Research and Instruction Librarian here at  Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

RV: I’m Robin Vickery, and I’m the Collections Management and Research Librarian at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. We came up with the idea to do a Book Spine Poetry Contest for National Poetry Month for April.

JQ: We had seen the idea of Book Spine Poetry in other libraries, and we wanted to create something fun and interactive.

RV: And, so Jessica and I created a book display. We pulled some books from the collection that we thought had fun-sounding titles, that had interesting words that people could mix and match to create poems from to get students started. We asked them to take a picture of whatever poem they came up with and email it as a submission.

JQ: I’m going to read one now:

IF WE HAD WINGS

NO END TO WAR

Getting Out

I’ll Fly Away

Matthew Gailey's submission to the Book Spine Poetry Contest
Credit Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

RV: Ok, here’s a second poem that was submitted by a student:

Composing a Life

Start Where You Are

GO FOR IT!

LIVE LIKE YOU WERE DYING

AWAKEN THE SPIRIT WITHIN

HAPPIER AT HOME

NOW YOU’RE 50!

Bethany Wolph's submission to the Book Spine Poetry Contest
Credit Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

JQ: IN THE NAME OF SCIENCE

What Makes Biology Unique?

Human Error

MORE

GOOD GERMS, BAD GERMS

THE TRIUMPH OF NUMBERS

RV: The main rule that we had was that we recommended people who submitted poems to use at least 3 books when creating their poem just to add variety. We did try to find titles that, maybe, had a prepositional phrase. We went through the whole collection to find titles in the writing section, geography…but there are a lot on aeronautical science, of course.

JQ: Embry-Riddle is primarily a STEM school, but we do have a flourishing art and poetry community, and so we wanted to create this event to showcase that side of us. I’ll read another entry:

Britney Blitz's submission to the Book Spine Poetry Contest
Credit Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

TESTING THE LIMITS

IN THE NAME…wait. Isn’t this one we just read? Oh, no. Ok.

RV: It’s very similar.

JQ:

TESTING THE LIMITS

IN THE NAME OF SCIENCE

Human Error

NO END TO WAR

blink

Hell Is Over

Sally Jackson's submission to the Book Spine Poetry Contest
Credit Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

RV: We thought it would be fun if we found ones that had a Haiku format, but we couldn’t find any books that matched the 7-5-7, or 5-7-5…whatever Haiku is! Here’s a shorter submission that we received:

BLAZE

MORE

Electronic BRAINS

(L to R): Robin Vickery, Sally Jackson and Jessica Quarles in the tomes, holding submissions for the Book Spine Poetry Contest

JQ: Graduation 2019

What Now?

life after school. explained.

HOLD FAST TO YOUR DREAMS

ADVENTURES IN AVIATION

SKY IS HOME

Forever an Eagle

Poetry Friday is produced by KNAU's Gillian Ferris. If you have an idea for a segment, drop her an email at Gillian.Ferris@nau.edu.