Bookmash: The Shining Levels


[click to enlarge]

stan carey - book spine poetry - bookmash - the shining levels


The Shining Levels

The shining levels carry me down
On beauty, style, borrowed finery –
The decay of the angel, the golden ass,
The distant past another roadside attraction.


Thanks to the authors: John Wyatt, M.J. Hyland, Zadie Smith, Joseph M. Williams, Paula Fox, Yukio Mishima, Apuleius, William Trevor, and Tom Robbins; and to Nina Katchadourian for the idea.

More book spine poems in the archive, along with links to other people’s. Feel free to join in.

11 Responses to Bookmash: The Shining Levels

  1. Sarah says:

    I love this idea (and your whole blog actually, which I’ve only discovered recently). Here’s my first go, and I’m going to get some of my students to have a go too!

    Elsewhere, in a strange room,
    You against me.
    Everything is illuminated.

    With thanks to Gabrielle Zevin, Damon Galgut, Jenny Downham, Tim Winton and Jonathan Safran Foer.


  2. Stan says:

    Thanks, Sarah, and welcome to Sentence first. I like your inaugural bookmash. The form works even better with photos, I find, though it takes a bit more time to set it up. I hope your students enjoy it too – it’s fun and a good exercise!

  3. Natalie SW says:


  4. Stan says:

    Margaret, Natalie: Thank you! I’m always tempted to do more, but most of my books are in storage.

  5. I like the idea of this – Must take a look at some shelves! mind you I don’t expect anything to come together the way yours did.

  6. […] first came across this idea on Stan Carey’s blog Sentence First . I liked it so much that I decided to have a go myself. So here it is: my very first book-spine […]

  7. alexmccrae1546 says:

    Stan, here’s my Friday the 13th bookmash offering. I feel the luck of the Irish is on my side, even though some folk still believe that the conjunction of a Friday and the 13th day of the month can have potentially dire consequences.

    Here she goes.

    “Under a Wild Sky”

    Under a wild sky
    Little green empress orchid
    Radiance from the waters
    Surfacing animals…
    You will NEVER forget.


    Authors, as follows, in order of stacking… top-to-bottom: William Souder, Walter Mosley, Anchee Min, Sylvia Ardyn Boone, Margaret
    Atwood, and Reader’s Digest (a compendium of animal-themed short pieces).

    As will be revealed w/ my accompanying graphic which will hopefully be posted later, the reader will soon see that Mosley’s book is titled “Little Green”, and Atwood’s, “Surfacing”. For narrative flow I kind of melded one title into another along the way.

    Stan, I’ll email you my mashed ‘stack’ photo, shortly.

    Thanks again for this always fun opportunity to get creative w/ book titles.

  8. Stan says:

    Good one, Alex! Here it is:

  9. […] Jenny Pitman, Phil Rickman, Peter F. Hamilton. And once again to Stan Carey for the initial […]

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