Newspaper Blackout Poetry

What combines art with poetry, form with function? Texas poet Austin Kleon found a way to merge his artistic sensibilities with his writing when he began taking a Sharpie to newspaper. The result, newspaper blackout poetry, creates a poem through deletion rather than the traditional mode of addition. The end result is a poem picked out of a sea of words in an unrelated topic, and something that looks worthy of being hung on the wall. For extremely visual learners, this is a great exercise in creating poetry.

We all knew poetry could sound beautiful, but now it can look beautiful too! (Image Credit:

So how can you create your own blackout poetry? Get your inspiration from some of Austin Kleon’s fantastic poetry, (available in his book Newspaper Blackout). Then, find a newspaper. Grab a pen and start circling the words you want to use for your poem. If you get stuck, try circling words that jump out at you and building a story around them. When you have your poem blocked out in pen, now it’s time to grab your Sharpie and start blocking out the words you don’t need. The contrast works best when you use a black Sharpie, although you can use any color that makes the rest of the words unreadable. When your poem is done, why not try framing it? A great combination of art and poetry is a true masterpiece, not to mention that the creativity your child will be exercising is unparalleled!

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