Blackout poetry is something I recently learned about. In fact, I’ve seen it used in art therapy and I was instantly intrigued by it. Maybe you’ve seen a thing or two about it as well. But what is it exactly? Where did it originate? And why is it so popular?
Maybe this can be your 20 minutes of creativity today. Warning: Blackout Poetry is a time suck! (but that’s a good thing!)
The Origins of Blackout Poetry
The “movement” started because of a book written by Austin Kleon called, “Newspaper Blackout“. In the book, he details how he uses a newspaper to blackout large sections of the paper and create poetry by choosing which words not to black out. You can get more of the story of how it started by watching this YouTube video interview with Austin Kleon:
How to Create Blackout Poetry
Black out poetry isn’t just poetry. It’s a way to help writers block. It’s a way to creatively use your brain. And it’s also great for bringing back a reason to use the newspapers ;). Here are the simple steps to get started. These are taken from Austin’s Youtube video, which you can watch here.
- Get inspired. Find examples on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #newspaperblackout or search pinterest for black out poetry. Also, be sure to get a copy of the book, Newspaper Blackout by Austin Kleon. You can follow my board, Black Out Poetry on Pinterest.
- Grab a newspaper and some markers.
- Pick a section or an article of the newspaper.
- Box the words you like. These will be the words of the poem.
- Black out the words you don’t need with a black marker.
- Cut out your poem and save it.
- Optional: Share your poem to instagram with the hashtag #newspaperblackout or the Newspaper Blackout Website submission form.
You can also create art around the blacked out areas instead of just blacking it out. There are some interesting ones on Pinterest such as this one:
Use this method to get your creativity going or to get unstuck when you have writer’s block. Let me know what you think!
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