Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Newspaper Blackout Poems

via felt and wire

“Austin Kleon has been creating newspaper blackout poems since 2005, shortly after finishing his undergraduate degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Miami University in Ohio. He was facing writer’s block, when he got the idea to make a blank canvas out of a newspaper. In an interview with PBS News Hour, Kleon says ‘I looked over at the recycle bin next to my desk and thought, “I don’t have any words, and right over there are millions of them.’”

Asked what he does now when he faces writer’s block, he says, “When I’m blocked, I don’t try to force it. I go do something else. I go for walks. Do dishes. Play the guitar. Watch a movie. Read a book. Doodle. Browse Twitter. As long as you show up every day, you can lose a day and still get work done.”

Though the words in the newspaper may not be his originally, the poems are always a reflection of Kleon. He doesn’t just summarize the initial article in a poem. Rather, he focuses on one or two words that really call out to him, and then he creates new meanings from a few already-existing words or letters.”

See more of his work here.

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