Blackout poetry is when you take a marker and blackout most words from an existing piece of text to create a new form of poetry. This existing piece of text can be anything, a newspaper, an old book, even a magazine. There are no rules to this. This is why blackout poetry gives you full freedom to exercise your creativity.
Traditionally blackout poetry means blackening out most text, but this form of poetry has also evolved, like the others. Based on your requirement, you can also draw, paint on the blackened text.
Blackout poetry is poetry served just as you like it.
Do you want to give it a shape? Do you want to leave it amorphous for the reader’s imagination? You want it to be artistic? You want it to remain minimal?
You can create whatever you want here.
All About Blackout Poetry: 4 Interesting Facts
Blackout poetry is also called erasure poetry or redacted poetry. However, there is a slight difference between these forms of poetry.
Erasure poetry and redacted poetry are all forms of found poetry. An artist can create redacted poetry by just redacting or cutting out maximum text from a piece of existing text. The remaining words can be called a redacted poem.
Erasure poetry differs in the way it is presented. This form of found poetry is presented on a different page after altering the placement of the words.
Blackout poetry is a form of redacted poetry.
In some ways, blackout poetry is an artist’s dream. These are the following reasons:
- You are making your own poem, your art from someone else’s work, and for the only time, it can’t be called plagiarism. How cool?
- You can draw, paint, and create a poem hand in hand.
- It is aesthetic, it looks cool, and it makes sense. Artistic sense.
- If you are in writer’s block, for now, this is your best bet. You have all the words. You have to make sense of it.
- You might create a whole new idea or message from a completely different text.
What else would we want?
Please keep reading to know everything about it!
Origin of Blackout Poetry
Blackout poetry goes as far as the 18th century. The famous author Austin Kleon says that blackout poetry started with Benjamin Franklin’s neighbor how they scribed the words out created playful puns.
Austin Kleon is the author of a book called “Newspaper Blackout,” which consisted of blackout poetry created on old and discarded newspapers.
Austin Kleon started creating blackout poetry and posting them online in the year 25. He also posted all of them in his blogs, and then the news spread across. He received a lot of criticism calling his work “unoriginal.” In the digital world, the first and foremost credit of introducing the world to blackout poetry goes to Austin Kleon.
The blog became famous, and people started talking about it. A few years later, he got an offer from a publishing company to turn his work into a book. This was the making of the very famous book “Newspaper Blackout.” A little later, he also started a Tumblr blog where people can learn about this form of found poetry and post their pieces.
Newspaper blackout released in 2010. It became more famous than what the actual author imagined. People who were unwelcoming about the concept of blackout poetry started to explore this new form. Two years later, in 2012, he released the book Steal like an artist.
Steal as an artist talks about finding creativity from everywhere. It speaks to the younger creators. No matter what art you create, Steal like an artist will help you with its compelling digital art and easy, practical tips.
But this is not where blackout poetry started. The year is 1966. The future author of the very famous masterpiece of blackout poetry, The Humument, goes to a book store, picks up the cheapest book, and declares that he will work on it for the rest of his life. So he did, and it became one of the most well-known works of all time.
How to Create Blackout Poetry?
Blackout poetry is as fun as it seems to create if you already have an idea in mind. It is also a great way to tap into your creative instincts and create something awesome. But, in case you are stuck, follow the below-mentioned steps.
- Skim through the test. You do not have to read each line; you have to find out some words and connect them in a way that makes sense.
- Find a general theme that you like.
- Now, on a blank piece of paper, write down these words that consist of your poem.
- This is the time to decide if you like the poem. If you do, skip to the next step. If you want connecting words like a the, etc., go back to the text and find them.
- Except for the words of your poem, blackout everything. You can get creative here and draw something that goes with the theme of your poem.
That is how easy it is to create your own blackout poetry.
Blackout poetry has opened the way to found poetry to a whole lot of people. Some interesting things that happened with Blackout poetry in the past few years:
- Blackout poetry is an internet sensation. The reasons are obvious, it is easy, and it is visually appealing. #blackoutpoetry has about 2k fans on Tumblr. The number is way bigger on Twitter.
- Teachers see this form of poetry as an amazingly accessible means to teach poetry to children. Children learn how to connect words, form a theme, and in the process, create a poem.
- Many advertising companies have taken advantage of this refreshing form of poetry and its visual appeal. Companies like Starbucks coffee have used blackout poetry in advertisements to attract customers.
- The New York Times has a website exclusively devoted to this new form of found poetry.
So if you are fascinated by the idea of this form of poetry that everyone is talking about, find some old newspapers or unused books and start away.