Blackout Poetry

Friday, April 30, 2021

Event Details

To participate, send a photo of your completed Blackout Poem to Therese at thorsketter@manitowoc.org or drop it off at MPL’s Service Desk. Poems will be shared on MPL’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/manitowoclibrary) and also displayed at the Library through the end of April in celebration of National Poetry Month.

When █████████ creativity ██████████████████████████ collides with the unforeseen ████████████████ a single outcome ████ infuses █████████ the imagination: ██████ inspiration.

Admittedly, the above example is a bit of a cheat, but it provides an easy reference of a poetry form known as “Blackout Poetry.” A blackout poem is created when a poet takes a marker to an already established text—like from a newspaper or a romance novel—and starts redacting words until a new poem is formed. The key element of blackout poem is that the text AND the redacted text merge to form a sort of visual poem.

Here’s an easy guide to creating Blackout Poetry:
• Skim your page of words
• Go through and lightly circle the words or phrases you might want to use
• Go through and boldly box the words you are keeping with pen, sharpie, etc.
• Read through your final poem
• Go through and blacken all of the material not used
• Bask in the glory of your creation

Fun Fact: Blackout Poetry traces back to the 18th Century, when Benjamin Franklin’s neighbor published a broadsheet of puns created in this style.

Event Type(s): Special Event
Age Group(s): All Ages
Therese Horstketter
(920) 686-3044