Easy Scribble Out Poetry

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This week I attended the teen writer’s group at our local library. They were doing scribble-out poetry. Have you heard of it? I hadn’t. It’s a fun way to get your create juices flowing and write poetry.

Here’s how you play:

  • Take an old book or a newspaper that’s headed for the trash pile
  • Scribble out words on the page, leaving only those you want to keep
  • (I circled the words instead of blacking the others out. I’m lazy.)
  • Keep the words that tell a story, make it poetry
  • No, it doesn’t have to rhyme, but it can
  • Read your poetry out loud and share your story with others or at the site below

There’s a whole blog dedicated to this art. Check it out HERE. It’s called the Newspaper Blackout.

Here’s the blurb at AMAZON about the book above:

Poet and cartoonist Austin Kleon has discovered a new way to read between the lines. Armed with a daily newspaper and a permanent marker, he constructs through deconstruction—eliminating the words he doesn’t need to create a new art form: Newspaper Blackout poetry.

Highly original, Kleon’s verse ranges from provocative to lighthearted, and from moving to hysterically funny, and undoubtedly entertaining. The latest creations in a long history of “found art,” Newspaper Blackout will challenge you to find new meaning in the familiar and inspiration from the mundane.

Newspaper Blackout contains original poems by Austin Kleon, as well as submissions from readers of Kleon’s popular online blog and a handy appendix on how to create your own blackout poetry.

You can purchase Austin Kleon’s book HERE.

Isn’t this a great idea? While you’re sitting at the breakfast table reading your paper, sipping your coffee, you can scribble poetry. Give it a try.

Have you ever done this? Will you give it a try?

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  1. This sounds really fun–thanks. I will try but not today–I’m happily packing for a great writers’ retreat in a warmer place than cold Minnesota.

  2. Robin says:

    That sounds like fun! I’ve never heard of anything like that. I’ll have to try it sometime.

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