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The Kid Should See This

How to make newspaper blackout poetry

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Filmmaker Andrew Lavers uses his passion for editing in digital and analog ways, including creating YouTube films, mixing tactile activities into his digital work, and turning articles into poems through blackout poetry.

Blackout poetry “is a form of found poetry or found object art created by erasing words from an existing text in prose or verse and framing the result on the page as a poem,” he writes in the caption of the video above.

“I’ve been making these poems for only just over a year now. I’ve made over 100 of them. I find them incredibly addictive to make.”

newspaper blackout poem collection

“Sometimes they’ll take seconds, or minutes. Sometimes they can take much longer…But I’m always pleased with the end result. And after I’ve finished making one, I feel like I’ve engaged my creative brain into gear, so it’s onto the next thing.”

Blackout poetry is a great way to jumpstart creativity, a playful exercise that can help remove some of the artistic paralysis that comes with feeling overwhelmed or creatively blocked.

Just create things.
According to Austin Kleon, artist and author of Newspaper Blackout, the practice has a 250-year history and makes an excellent classroom assignment. From educator Melissa Ladenheim via Ed.gov (pdf):

“…it has provided a different way of seeing the words on the paper and thus a different way of thinking about what those words communicate and why they matter. Like critical thinking, newspaper blackout poetry is a process of revelation, an uncovering of meaning. Pedagogically, blackout poetry makes students active participants in the construction of knowledge and understanding.”

newspaper blackout
Related from Austin Kleon: How to make a zine from a single sheet of paper.

Plus: More poetry.

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