Sunday, September 22, 2013

Newspaper Blackout Poems

(Above) The poet Austin Kleon.

(You REALLY have to click on these images to read them!)




(Click on image to read!)



FROM HIS PHOTOGRAPH AND ESPECIALLY HIS ART, AUSTIN KLEON LOOKS LIKE THE KIND OF GUY I’D LIKE TO KNOW. And why not? He is incredibly creative, has a sense of humor and is an American original.

What you are looking at here are examples of his “blackout poetry,” his way of creating prose by finding the words he wishes to keep within a story or article in the newspaper— and blacking out the rest with a permanent marker. Like a stone carver, Kleon “cuts away” the parts he doesn’t need and keeps the parts that are essential to his “found” poem. I think it is great. The final words Austin “keeps” have to fall within a readable order—giving us newly “discovered” poems that are poignant, funny, right-on and right for our times.

Austin lives in Austin, Texas with his wife Meg and his book: Newspaper Blackout Poems, was published by Harper Collins in February 2010. Learn more about Austin Kleon by visiting his Web site here.

12 comments:

cemenTIMental said...

Always good. :) If you've not seen it you should check out Tom Phillip's ongoing project "A Humument", he pioneered this kind of writing/art and took it further than anyone else. - http://www.humument.com/

norm magnusson said...

And here's how it's done in reverse. Not blacking out, just highlighting. A campaign for Creative Management Partners from 2000: http://www.funism.com/ads/cmp.html

Maureen said...

Very clever, and good poetry as well.

Red-SSR said...

Wonderful presentation of an idea.

kumke said...

brilliant

Jan said...

Not sure if the idea is original but interesting nevertheless.

cd said...

I thought this was a fun idea when I saw Crispin Glover's Rat Catching and other "books" a few years ago. I guess it is one of those things where you have to decide how much of it is the clever idea and how much of it is the substance.

schmemily said...

This type of writing is generally called erasure poetry, and has been applied to everything from obscure Victorian novels (cemenTIMental points out the most well-known, A Humument) to Shakespeare's sonnets. The technique has been around since the sixties, so while I think newspaper erasure poetry is a cool idea, it's definitely not the first of its type.

Tony said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tony said...

A wonderful combination of word and image.

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