Meet the Master Palindromist
Palindromes are serious business.
At least they are for Barry Duncan, the self-proclaimed “master palindromist” who speaks of them as “the craft” and has just completed what he calls, “Far and away the best reversible work I’ve ever, ever done.” For Mr. Duncan, palindromes seem to be at once a great Art Form, and quite addictive.
For word lovers there are many flavors to this genre of addiction. According to the story at The Believer link above, “Palindromes are just one form of wordplay among many. There are anagrams (transpositions of the letters of a word or phrase into a new word or phrase using exactly the same letters), tautonyms (words or phrases of two or more identical parts), isograms (words containing no more than one of any letter), pangrams (groups of words using each and every letter of the alphabet exactly once), bigrams, trigrams, tetragrams, and on we go.”
As you may notice in the profile piece, palindrome addiction tends to make a person just a little . . . different. But if you’re willing to try composing a few of your own at the risk of seeming slightly odd, you can find a few examples here to get you started. And there is even a magazine devoted to “the craft.”
Just remember if you find yourself unable to stop, you’ve been warned.