Magnetic Poetry is a toy and creative writing aid consisting of individual words—often related to a particular theme or topic—printed on small magnets which can be creatively arranged into poetry on a refrigerator or other metal surface. The informality and spontaneity Magnetic Poetry has endeared it to educators in creative writing.
Magnetic Poetry was invented by Dave Kapell, then a songwriter. While suffering writer's block, he wrote words on pieces of paper and rearranged them, hoping to use it as a starting point for lyrics. To keep the arrangements of words from being accidentally disturbed, he thought to glue the paper to magnets. After placing the magnets on his refrigerator, visitors to his home would also rearrange the words, creating their own impromptu compositions.
Kapell then designed versions of the magnets for sale at Calhoun Square, Minneapolis, USA. His initial run of 100 boxes sold out in three hours. He has since published a number of books describing the use of the kit and anthologizing poems produced with it.
- Truong, Khai N.; Huang, Elaine M.; Abowd, Gregory D. (2004). "CAMP: A Magnetic Poetry Interface for End-User Programming of Capture Applications for the Home". UbiComp 2004: Ubiquitous Computing: 6th International Conference. Nottingham: Springer. pp. 143–160.
- Vardell, Sylvia M. (2006). Poetry Aloud Here!: Sharing Poetry with Children in the Library. American Library Association.
- May, Jeff (13 June 2011). "After the One-Hit Wonder: They hit it big. Really big. But then what?". Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on 16 December 2014. Retrieved 12 February 2022.
- Giaimo, Cara (13 November 2015). "The Past and Future of Magnetic Poetry, the Populist Product that Began With a Sneeze". Mental Floss. Archived from the original on 16 November 2015. Retrieved 12 February 2022.
- Kapell, Dave; Steenland, Steenland (1998). The Kids' Magnetic Poetry Book and Creativity Kit. Workman Publishing Company, Inc.
- Kapell, Dave; Steenland, Steenland (1997). The Magnetic Poetry Book of Poetry: An Anthology of Magnetic Poems from the Refrigerator Doors of America Plus a Poetry Primer and Portable Word Pack. Workman Publishing Company, Inc.