Poetry Friday: Spine poetry and the sounds of the night

I hadn’t really planned on sharing anything like this, but when you get an idea, you have to either seize upon it or write it down somewhere so you can seize upon it another day.

I chose the former.

I was simply sitting at my desk, looking at some of the many books I have in front of me, and a couple of book titles caught my eye. I immediately began scouring for any other titles I might be able to combine – and voila!

When thunder comes
before morning
in the middle of the night
the gods, themselves,
in the woods

– © 2023 Matt F. Esenwine, all rights reserved


If you’re unfamiliar with spine poetry but like to learn more, please check out this video I made a few years ago, during the pandemic, from inside my pillow fort! And for all of today’s poetry fun – and a celebration of spring – head over to Rose Cappelli’s home on the web, Imagine the Possibilities, for today’s Poetry Friday roundup!


I’m booking author visits for the 2023 winter/spring semester!

I love chatting with elementary and middle school classes about writing: why poetry is fun to read and write, the importance of revision, and how one’s imagination and creativity can lead to a fantastic career! My presentations are tailored to fit the needs of the classes and students’ ages. One day I might be sharing details of how a picture book like Flashlight Night (Astra Young Readers, 2017) was created; the next, I’ll be discussing dinosaur breath or origami sea turtles!

Student presentations include:

  • The Making of a Picture Book
  • How a Child Saved a Book
  • “Once Upon Another Time”
  • The Most Imporant Thing about Writing Poetry
  • “I Am Today”
  • “A Beginner’s Guide to Being Human”
  • “Everybody Counts: Counting to 10 in Twelve Languages”

Adult presentations include:

  • The Making of a Picture Book
  • The Most Important Thing about Writing Poetry
  • Free Yourself with Free Verse
  • Tight Language, Loose Narratives: Crafting a Non-Traditional Picture Book

Learn more at MattForrest.com!

If you or someone you know might be interested in having me visit your school, library, or other organization, please email me
at matt(at)mattforrest(dot)com!


(The Little Fig, LLC, 2023)

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Ordering personalized signed copies online? Oh, yes, you can!

You can purchase personally-signed copies of Flashlight Night, (Astra Young Readers, 2017), Don’t Ask a Dinosaur (Pow! Kids Books, 2018)and nearly EVERY book or anthology I’ve been part of!

Click here to view all my books and to order!

Just click the cover of whichever book you want and send a comment to the good folks at MainStreet BookEnds in Warner, NH requesting my signature and to whom I should make it out. (alternatively, you can log onto my website and do the same thing) They’ll contact me, I’ll stop by and sign it, and then they’ll ship it! (Plus, you’ll be supporting your local bookseller – and won’t that make you feel good?)


Thank you to everyone for your support!




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19 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: Spine poetry and the sounds of the night

  1. Oops, I let that go too soon. I was going to go back to the video and see if it really was a physical therapist!

    I love the sound of:

    “When thunder comes
    before morning”

    And to think that is from two books on your shelf, no wonder you thought you had to write that poem now. Nice video of you in your pillow fort.


  2. Spine poetry is such fun — and not as easy as it seems. What great titles you had to work with. Great job!! Love seeing D. Elliott’s book in the pile. 🙂


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