“Newspaper + Marker = Poetry”

27 Apr

A Newspaper blackout poem called "Land" by Austin Kleon (courtesy of http://www.austinkleon.com)

Some time last year I discovered newspaper blackout poetry, which, to me, resembles a combination of visual art and poetry. Essentially the newspaper blackout poet will sift through the newspaper and use a marker to blackout all of the words and images on a given page, leaving only a few words to be seen. Those words collectively comprise the poem.

On his about page on http://www.austinkleon.com, newspaper blackout poet Austin Kleon claims that he attempted this after a serious cause of writer’s block. As a result, his work was eventually published. A combination of artist/cartoonist and poet, Kleon’s work exemplifies the newspaper blackout genre (if it even is a genre).

I would love to try this sometime, especially upon reaching that writer’s block that sometimes plagues me among many other writers. One suggestion to readers who might attempt such a feat–try nontoxic markers. I doubt a sharpie would be the healthiest route for newspaper blackout poetry.

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One Response to ““Newspaper + Marker = Poetry””

  1. joann April 27, 2010 at 10:18 pm #

    That is very moving!

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