Blackout Poetry

Six years ago, I was reading a book titled “Steal Like an Artist” by Austin Kleon. In it, there were all sorts of helpful tips and ideas for spurring creativity, personal anecdotes from the author, and fun doodles throughout to connect everything together. It was in this book that I was first introduced to something called “blackout poetry.” Basically, you take a newspaper article (or really any piece of text), and then you black out all of the words you don’t want, leaving behind a sort of poem of only the words you do want. Here’s the link to Kleon’s website if you want to learn more.

I was inspired and curious, so I began making my own blackout poems.  Some of the first ones were just awful. Way too many words. Didn’t really capture my mood. My most recent poems are much better and have inspiration. They speak well for me and what I’m thinking/feeling.

Sometimes the words come so easily as I start to black out the extras. Other times I have to use a fair bit of poetic license to coax the right words and ideas out. There are also times when I can’t make anything happen, and so rather than get frustrated and annoyed, I surrender and toss it into the recycle bin or try again weeks later.

Below are a few of my best ones. Feel free to let me know what you think of them in the comments below. Thanks!


the consequence of your weight gain is that you get fat


Simple: I love football because in that stadium, greatness is up for grabs. (This is one of my favorites!)


A friend of quality is golden.


I like you. Is there hope for me? There’s hope.

As always, thanks for stopping by. โค

6 thoughts on “Blackout Poetry

  1. that is very cool. it would be a cool project to introduce to tweens and teens as a way to manipulate text in a creative way. thanks for sharing

    Liked by 1 person

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