Tag Archives: newspaper blackout

National Poetry Month

4th April 2012

I have a confession. Though I have favorite poems and poets, I am super resistant when it comes to new poetry. In fact, I haven’t picked up any new poetry in ages. I know! I’m awful. I wrote poetry many moons ago, and I have volumes that I’ll still reference, so I’m certainly not against it. It’s just that I’ve become complacent in seeking out new poems.

But it’s National Poetry Month, and my students actually introduced me to the type of poetry I want to talk about today. A couple of years ago, while I was teaching The Book Thief, my students had an assignment to repurpose a page from a book. One student came in with blackout poetry, where all the words with the exception of a few were blacked out with a marker, leaving the uncovered words to make a poem. It was crazy beautiful, so I thought I’d share some other cool blackout poems with you guys today:

Via Route 10

Via Newspaper Blackout and Austin Kleon

Via Meaningless Magical Tumblr

Via Life’s Ponderful

Via Newspaper Blackout – Ashley Niedzwiecki, 24, Detroit

Isn’t that amazing? I think I might actually give this a try this month. The website Newspaper Blackout also has some great tips for getting started:

  • Use the newspaper.
  • Loosen up.
  • Set a time limit.
  • Some articles won’t inspire you. Move on.
  • Don’t read the article first.
  • Remember that the poem will be read from left to right and top to bottom.

The website also takes submissions in case you really like the results of your efforts. 🙂

So have you seen blackout poetry before? Or do you have a contemporary poet or poem I should take a look at?

 P.S. – Lu at Regular Rumination is very up on her poetry and regularly posts about it, so if poetry is your thing, head on over.