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Newspaper Blackout

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  1,948 ratings  ·  216 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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Average rating 3.93  · 
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 ·  1,948 ratings  ·  216 reviews

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Jon Nakapalau
Nov 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Love this! Austin Kleon takes a felt pen and blacks out a page of newspaper until a poem emerges! Fantastic poems that are often shockingly deep!
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
Alejandro Saint-Barthélemy
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
Broke  Bibliophile
Dec 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
I discovered the concept of Blackout Poetry when a friend got her hands on Kleon's book. After going through it, we decided to make our own versions of Newspaper Blackouts. It was great fun!
We introduced it to more people and even tried blacking out pages from old novels. Newspaper Blackout has minimalist poems which range from funny limericks to surprisingly deep lines. The poet also gives us a short history on how similar concepts had come up in the past. Overall, it was an interesting read a
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
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
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
Matthew Mousseau
Jan 26, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
Sep 22, 2018 rated it did not like it
These poems didn't do anything for me. I love the idea of blackout poetry, but these ones weren't as good as I was expecting. ...more
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
Jul 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
I picked this up after seeing it in Barnes and Noble because I just had my 9th graders do "Blackout Poems" at the end of their poetry unit. It's a really fun way of playing with words and creating poems in a way that's a little less stressful on kids who are a little afraid of poetry.

Kleon's poem's are fun and interesting with some keen observations about life. Thoroughly enjoyable. I'm also happy to have this book to show to my students next time we do blackout poetry.
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. ...more
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. ...more
Mary Louise
Jul 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Amazing writer and artist. Changed the way I think about most everything.
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. ...more
Scout Collins
Dec 30, 2018 rated it liked it
I was looking up poetry books when I found Newspaper Blackout and thought I would give it a try. The concept seemed like it had potential.

I read this book quickly because most of the poems were barely a small paragraph's worth of text...

I was disappointed by most of the poems in general. I have not personally tried to write my own newspaper blackout poem so I'm not sure how easy it is (to write a good one), and I know some poetry books have poems that aren't the greatest added to them just to fi
Jessica (thebluestocking)
May 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: review-copy
I received this book for free from the publisher. All content and opinions are my own.

I think this is the best idea! Here's how NPR summarizes the idea behind Newspaper Blackout: "Instead of starting with a blank page, Poet Austin Kleon grabs The New York Times and a permanent marker and eliminates the words he doesn't need."

Newspaper Blackout is a handy little book. It opens with brief history of altered works - the art of making art out of existing art. Google "altered books" and you'll get a
Apr 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
When Andrea found this book in a sidewalk free box and brought it home for me, I was already a fan of Kleon's blog and had read several of his newspaper blackout poems (mostly horoscopes), so I knew how entertaining and moving they could be. The technique is really not all that different from just writing a poem from scratch, if you ask me. But I like his attitude toward it: the book includes an introduction to the history of blackout poetry (not that he knew it when he started, but bloggers mad ...more
Apr 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Although this style of poetry has been around since the 1760’s, Austin Kleon had the accidental fortune of bringing this to the mainstream market. To best describe what Newspaper Blackout is, NPR’s Morning Edition explains, “Instead of starting with a blank page, Poet Austin Kleon grabs The New York Times and a permanent marker and eliminated the words he doesn’t need.” (Eliminates the words he doesn’t need…I love the way that sounds.)

Here's the big question that I couldn't help but wonder while
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 27, 2010 rated it really liked it
I won a free copy of this book through the goodreads "First Reads" program and I was really excited. I had seen a writeup about the book and was intrigued. I have to say, I love it. I just pick the book up, open a page at random, and get sucked in.

The premise is deceptively simple: author, artist and poet Austin Kleon sits down with a page of newspaper and a black sharpie. By blacking out the words he doesn't need, he creates a visually interesting landscape dotted with words that, in their newf
May 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Poets and lovers of poetry.
This is a really interesting way to write poetry: taking a newspaper article or page and just stringing together a few words together to make a poem by just blacking out the rest with a Sharpie. I tried this out myself a couple times; it's adds an interesting handicap, which forced me to get a little creative at times with what words I want.

A lot of the poems are short, some only about five words long. Some had a bit of a narrative to them, some expressed deep or random thoughts, some were pure
Maddie A.
Jan 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
I have a whole bag full of Sharpies of every color, and I use them to doodle all over my notebooks, sketchbooks, my hands, and pretty much anything I can doodle on. But I have never used my Sharpies to blackout a poem before, and after reading this book, I know I’m going to try. Newspaper Blackout is really fun to read, and I think everyone should give it a try because you don’t have to love poetry to enjoy this book. The poems are short, witty and while I don’t love ALL of them, I find a lot of ...more
Oswego Public Library District
Poet Austin Kleon has created unique, re-purposed poems from newspaper articles. Starting with a black marker and a newspaper, Kleon chooses an article and creates poetry by blacking out some words and leaving others. This style creates short, easy to read poems that range from thought-provoking to lighthearted and humorous. Inspired to create your own? A guide on how to make blackout poetry and blackout poems submitted by Kleon’s readers are included in the back of the book. Newspaper Blackout ...more
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