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  • J. J. Hanna

On Blackout Poetry

Blackout poetry has been on my mind ever since I read the book Newspaper Blackout by Austin Kleon. I'd seen instances of it before, questioned how anyone could ever take a marker to a book in this way.

But I guess it says something about how I feel about newspapers, since I've now created a few blackout pieces of my own, using the newspaper on campus. (Sorry, Echo. But there's a lot of you, and it was old copies. You'll live.)

As I read Newspaper Blackout, I found myself curious about what the original article was. Where did Kleon get the words he used?

So, for your enjoyment, I'll post the article along with the end piece of my own Blackout Poetry.

I'll be posting more on the Blackout Poetry page of my website as I create more, but for now, some of my first pieces.

Find something you don't mind marking up, and try it for yourself. Sometimes it feels like cheating, but the words exist and by changing them this way, you've changed their meaning and significance. You're taking words that are already there and rearranging them into a new form, which, if we're honest, is all types of writing.

Go ahead. Mark up the page.


Side note: This week's YouTube video is a recap of my travels to Michigan for the Maranatha Christian Writer's Conference. Check it out!


J. J. Hanna is a Professional Writing major at Taylor University. In her spare time she makes Youtube Videos and Comics, and practices Karate at a local dojo. If you have a writing question, she'd love to hear from you! Reach out to her on the contact page. She is also looking for freelancing work, so if you have editing, beta reading, or writing needs, please let her know.

Poetry © 2018

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