Bridwell Edible Book Festival & Samuel Wesley Bad Poetry Contest, April 25

Announcing Bridwell Library’s 4th Annual Edible Book Festival (BEBFest) &

1st Annual Samuel Wesley Bad Poetry Contest

April 25 from 3-5pm


Bridwell proudly announces its 4th annual Bridwell Edible Book Festival (BEBFest) and its first annual Samuel Wesley Bad Poetry Contest.

Bridwell Edible Book Festival (BEBFest)

In our first year, we held an Edible Book Festival “test run” within Bridwell only and had our entries exclusively online (due to COVID safety issues), where staff shared their images in a Box folder. Because of its success, in the second year, we opened up the field to a larger crowd and welcomed entries from the entire SMU community. Bridwell will continue in this tradition. We will host an event on April 25th where entrants may share their edibles with others in Bridwell Library’s Gill Hall. The top three winners will receive prizes!

  • Entries must have a book or library-related theme and may have a short description accompanying them
  • Entries are usually comical, clever, witty, or have double meanings, but they don’t have to be
  • Entries must be made of something edible but do not have to be entirely edible (i.e., you can have props!)
  • Entrants may be from anywhere within the entire SMU community
  • Entrants may only submit one entry
  • Group or team projects are welcome, one entry per group

The event will be held in Bridwell’s Gill Hall on April 25 from 3PM–5pm. All members of the SMU community are eligible to vote, whether or not you’ve submitted an entry. Voting will be done by all who view and sample the entries, and paper ballots will be available to fill out. The top 3 voted-for entries will be announced and prizes will be awarded before the end of the BEBFest.

Samuel Wesley Bad Poetry Contest

The deadline for submission is Friday, April 19, 2024. Winners announced on the anniversary of Samuel’s death:  April 25.

Prizes will be awarded in three different categories:

  • Cleverest bad title
  • Most sincere, yet ghastly, sonnet
  • Most faithful adaptation of Samuel’s voice

Samuel Wesley, father of John and Charles, is credited by many resources as a clergyman, writer, and poet.  Indeed, he published his first volume of poetry in 1685 following his graduation from Oxford University. What many people fail to mention about Samuel, however, is just how awful a poet he was.  His book, entitled Maggots: or, Poems on Several Subjects Never Before Handled, contains such captivating poems as “On a Supper of Stinking Ducks,” and “A Tame Snake Left in a Box of Bran Was Devoured by a Mouse after a Great Battle.”  Contestants wishing to refer to Wesley’s work will find online copies through the ProQuest One Literature Database or Early English Books Online.

The winning entries will be exhibited in Bridwell Library, alongside the first edition of Maggots, between May and September 2024. They will also be preserved in Bridwell Library’s Samuel Wesley Bad Poetry Archive and may be published at a later date. Please direct any questions to the Reference Librarians, Jane Elder ( and Christopher Clarke (

Winning entries from 2022 BEBFest

Macbeth Cake from Act 4, Scene 1, created by the “Macbakers,” Caroline Roman, Simone Melvin, Kennedi Watts, and Sylvia Bloom (Senior English Majors at SMU). “We were inspired to make this cake when our Shakespeare professor (Dr. Dan Moss) sent us an email with the competition information. He knew we were bakers because we had brought cookies to class one day, haha! Macbeth is one of the tragedies we read in class that we are very partial to. Dr. Moss suggested we make following cake: “I think [Caroline] and Simone should bake an edible book using all the ingredients of the Witches’ brew in the cauldron scene. Pretty sure the English Department has a supply of newt eyes, frog toes, Tartar’s lips and birth-strangled babes in the main office, if you can’t find those in grocery stores due to supply-chain issues. Just ask Matthew [Biggin].” The cake is just that, with the famous “Double, double…” passage on the pages of the book. We made a fondant tongue, lips, nose, and intestines, to name a few. There are now two iterations of the masterpiece of Macbeth in the world.”

“The Tell-Tale Heart,” Edgar Allen Poe, created by Rachel Holmes, “I then took up three planks from the flooring of the chamber, and deposited all between the scantlings.” “Villains!” I shrieked, “dissemble no more! I admit the deed! – tear up the planks! – here, here! – It is the beating of his hideous heart!”

Learn more about the BEBFest Winners in 2022! See more Edible Book Festivals worldwide!

Any person who requires a reasonable accommodation on the basis of a disability in order to participate in this program should contact Michelle Ried at least one week prior to the event to arrange for the accommodation.