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Newspaper Blackout

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  1,221 Ratings  ·  159 Reviews

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 fu

Paperback, 173 pages
Published April 13th 2010 by Harper Perennial (first published April 1st 2010)
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Unky Dave
Apr 10, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
Jul 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I am in love with this book and want to have it's babies. Newspaper Blackout is a collection of poems, loosely arranged by theme in a narrative thread that spans childhood through young adulthood, dealing with subjects such as the school locker room, first romance, and the dreariness of the office cubicle. What makes this book unique is the author crafted the poems essentially through editing another's words - newspaper articles, specifically. After establishing an anchor point, other words were ...more
Alexander Akyna
Apr 03, 2017 rated it did not like it
As a traditional book of poems (I mean this in the sense of poetic poetry, not just old-fashioned one) this lacks artistic beauty, craft and depth; as a piece of contemporary art or contemporary poetry, it just lacks originality (which Austin admits himself in another book), modernity and shock value.

The most funny thing going on about this $1 cheeseburger of a poetry book is that I've read somewhere Austin Kleon saying that before being published he was really mad, tense and anxious, reading wh
Aug 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this one a lot. First, the formatting was wicked awesome. Second, the poems weren't dumb. Seriously, poetry can be super can also be deep and meaningful. While none of these were overly meaningful to me-I didn't decide to go out and change the world. It DID make me view the written word just a little differently. These were well structured, good, poems. And the format, to repeat, was wicked awesome.

So, if you want to read something cool, this is a good one to check
Apr 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Review copy from author/publisher

So. This was one of those books I knew I had to get my hands on the moment I heard about it. And a big thank you goes out to author Austin Kleon for so wonderfully helping a copy find it's way to my doorstep.

I'm ashamed to admit that I broke my review rule for this collection. I placed it right on the top of the pile. I know I shouldn't have, but I just couldn't help myself. I started reading it in the car on the way to the chinese buffet the other night, to cel
Oct 06, 2011 rated it liked it
Newspaper Blackout by Austin Kleon

Kleon's debut is a collection of found poetry from the pages of The New York Times. It's gotten rave reviews and been featured on NPR and in The New Yorker, so clearly he's appealing to a wide audience with his work. He "blacks out" the words he doesn't want and keeps the rest, a technique used by many former writers, which he is kind enough to list in his forward.

This results in some pretty silly poems, and many truly funny ones. Unfortunately, when you use this technique, it's often hit-or-mi
Mar 20, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Poetry lovers
Armed with a newspaper and a magic marker, Austin Kleon makes the process of writing poetry more about chiseling away instead of starting from scratch. I am a huge fan of found poetry and have my students create found and headline poems every April during National Poetry Month. What I always find when students perform these exercises is that at first they think the assignment is just for fun, but then end up creating something really profound.

The idea is the same in Newspaper Blackout. An other
Aug 10, 2016 rated it liked it
cukup menarik, tapi karena puisinya dalam bahasa inggris dan kosakata bahasa inggris saya kurang jadi di beberapa puisi saya malah merasa ''hah?''

setelah baca ini jadi iseng mengambil majalah dan menghitamkan sedemikian rupa juga tapi jadinya malah fail. emang gabisa kalau disuruh bikin ginian sama puisi #sixword gitu wq
Jan 26, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry


Jessica Mocha
Apr 26, 2017 added it
Shelves: poem
This entire book is great! It's a fun way to create poetry with words that are already on the page. The poet, Austin Kleon takes newspapers, or other books, and choses certain words to make a poem and blacks out the rest of the page. For example, there is a poem that says:
"looks like work. but i think of it as play". That's the whole poem, but even though it was short, it takes time and creativity to pick a few words out of a text to make something completely different. This is a great activity
Apr 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
I am not much on poetry. Not that I don't like it. I just read very little of it except for an occasional visit with Rilke, Sexton or Neruda.

In the musical GYPSY, three strippers sing about the need for a gimmick to "get ahead" in their business. The gimmick here is "newspaper blackout" poetry. A technique where all you need is a copy of an old newspaper and a black magic marker(s) to create poetry.

Kleon's idea works so beautifully that you even forget the "gimmick" after about the third or four
This idea is so simple, but I believe these are true poems (some stronger than others, but all interesting). I like the challenge of making them from words that are already there -- sometimes in the same order, other times using a white line so your eye knows which order to read the words (occasionally, it's not left-to-right, top-to-bottom).

A couple favorite quotes from the "how to" section at the end:

"The solution to any writer's block is to place some constraints on yourself."

"Wherever you d
Luke Nelson
Apr 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Practically everyone
Shelves: first-reads
I was excited when I heard that I had won this book from Goodreads First Reads, and it turned out better than expected. The concept behind the poems in this book is that they are created by selecting phrases and words from two columns of newspaper and blacking out the unwanted parts. It makes for both an interesting and entertaining read. After finishing the book I used the how-to section to create some of my own. I discovered that it is harder that it looks to get a great poem! I thoroughly rec ...more
Apr 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This was a fun read. Each poem stands on it's own, but when read in the narrative context of the book as a whole they together became more than the sum of their parts. The poems find a niche resting at the crossroads of the whimsical and the profound. The origin of the poems mitigates any platitudinal line to mere amusement that such could be found within the Times, and when a poem touches the heart, that amusement transfigures into awe that it was there, under our noses the entire time, needing ...more
Jan 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2016
Now, I'm usually not really into poetry (maybe because I haven't found anything I found that great before) but this one was different.
Some of these poems were amazing and others I didn't really care for at all.
But the thing I really loved about this book was the idea behind it and how the poems were made. That is by taking a newspaper and blacking out lots of the words and the ones that are left are a poem. It inspired me to start my own ones soon and I'm really excited about that!
I also wanna
Apr 22, 2010 rated it really liked it
Discovered this through a recent newspaper assignment. Just a mention of a "Dadaist bar game" to be played after a local poetry and fiction reading. Austin Kleon takes sharpy to newspaper and creates poems by blacking out the words he doesn't need. It's so perfectly simple and appealed to my love of both wordplay and puzzles. I'll definitely be trying my hand at this.
May 10, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 3-stars

Really enjoyed this. I stumbled upon this poetry style when I read 'Vicious' by V.E. Schwab and wanted to try it out myself. haven't gotten around to it yet but then I found this book. This encouraged me even more to just try it out.
Some poems in this book I didn't really care for but most of them were quite enjoyable.
Joe Maggiore
Sep 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed the book overall. Each time I opened the book to read another poem, I found myself excited to see the next one. I also was constantly hoping to see the ones that had "white reading path lines". Not sure of that's clear to people who have read the book but oh well. It's such a unique and cool idea for a book and I'm interested in other books this author has written.
Inga Pizāne
Oct 18, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry, inspiration
Visvairāk, šo grāmatu lasot, novērtēju tieši ideju kā tādu (par blackout jeb svītrojumu dzeju) un iedvesmu, ko guvu, lai radītu pati. Tas patiesībā ir ļoti daudz. Un ļoti svarīgi. Patika arī vairāki dzejoļi, piemēram, "children play / to keep sane" vai "I said /Honey / I need an orientation / or a small map of / what you really like" un citi tekstiņi, kas nebija pārāk sarežģīti vai gari.
Dec 22, 2009 added it
austin kleon makes poems by taking a sharpie to newspaper articles. it's simple but powerful, good for people who love poetry and people who love it but never seem to get around to reading any (like me).
Asma Khoory
Nov 25, 2016 rated it did not like it
I loved the idea but not the poems.
arai rivers
Nov 28, 2015 rated it liked it
This was pretty neat. There were some I really liked, and some I didn't like so much, but I believe this kind of poetry is a talent and I can't wait to see if I can do it myself.
Mary Louise
Jul 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Amazing writer and artist. Changed the way I think about most everything.
Maherab Efty
Sep 12, 2017 rated it it was ok
কলেওনের কবিতার এই বইটার কনটেনট অতি সাধারণ; খুব সরল কইরা বললে বলা যায় যে বইটার গঠন এইরকমঃ Newspaper + marker = blackout poetry। বইটার কনটেনট এ আমার আগরহ আছিল না; আমি মেকিং-এ দৃষটি দিছিলাম। দেখলাম, মঁশিয়ে কলেওন এই কাম পয়লা করেন নাই, তাঁর আগেও এই কাম করছেন চারজন; তিনি সরেফ আইডিয়া নিছেন। একটা আইডিয়া কোনোভাবেই পিউর হইবার পারে না; ওইটা পূরবের কোন এক আইডিয়ার উপর বেজ কইরা খাঁড়ায়; তাই মহাশয়, Steal Like An Artist (অসটিন সাব তো এই নামে একটা বই-ই ফেঁদে বসছেন)... এই বইয়ের আইডিয়া, মেকিং, ওয়ারক সিসটেম ইতযাদি ব ...more
May 11, 2017 rated it liked it
This book is interesting in concept, and visually intriguing. But with most poems being under 30 words (and many much shorter) this felt like "partial" poems. I really liked the phrases, just wish they had been strung together into something more satisfying.
Rhonda Havig
Jun 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Reading the poetry was fun, but my favorite part of this book was the brief history of altered books and how to make your own newspaper blackout poems. Austin Kleon has a wonderful way of making art and writing accessible and being encouraging without coming across as pompous.
Balin Moreno
Feb 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Enjoyable and funny poetry book where words are removed instead of drafted; interesting premise, and even more interesting poems.
Feb 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
A fun and creative way to play with words, this book had me immediately taking out a newspaper and black magic marker of my own to give it a try!
Sep 03, 2017 rated it it was ok
Paperback. Poetry.

Recommended by a colleague. Forray into Erasure poetry.
Mar 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Some strong poems among many weak ones. However, Kleon shares his process and tips for budding newspaper-blackout poets.
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