I am a fan of Austin Kleon and I mentioned him in an earlier post about Public Art labels. In addition to public art labeling, Austin Kleon also introduced me to blackout poetry in his book, Newspaper Blackout. Even though I have never written poetry outside of a school assignment, I thought I would give blackout poetry a try. Austin creates his blackout poetry with newspapers and provides a great video tutorial on his website.
Instead of starting with a blank page, blackout poetry involves taking a page full of words and removing what you don’t need, leaving you with a blackout poem. If you only read the words I left visible, the poem would read:
I was about to cry and said nothing at that moment The police came he went sullenly His father looked before he went away I left secretly going alone to a dark night
(Note: Any idea what book I used for this experiment? It’s by Pearl S. Buck)
As a strange coincidence, I had just finished my attempt at creating a blackout poem when I was gathering newspapers to recycle and the cover story was about redaction, which looks oddly like blackout poetry. 😀
Want to try blackout poetry? Grab an old book you don’t want anymore (library used book sales and garage sales are great places to find old books very cheaply), a black marker, and start crossing out everything that is not going to be part of your final poem. Hopefully, your poems are much better than my attempt. I’d love to see what you come up with. Just reply to this newsletter and attach a pic of your poem and I’ll share it in a future newsletter.
Do you know someone else who would enjoy 50 Things? Sharing is caring! :)
PS - I’m starting to schedule a few of the items on my 50 Things list that take place in the NYC area including a Queens Food Tour, foraging in Central Park, a non-ballet dance performance, and eating a meal in the basement of a Hare Krishna Temple (among others). If you’d like to know about any of these events and possibly join the group, just let me know and I’ll keep you in the loop. (just reply to this email!) Thanks!