Blackout Poetry: The Creative Process of Deconstruction, Reconstruction

Hear Me Roar: Creative Ways to Connect with Your Inner Artist

A Unique Twist on Poetry
By Cheryl Allan Carlyle

Last month, I asked readers to begin considering which forms of art they’re drawn to. I was delighted when a woman named Hannah reached out to say, “I enjoy reading poetry and ideally, I’d love to create my own. But writing isn’t exactly my ‘thing.’ Any suggestions on how to break through that barrier?” Yes! Hannah’s inquiry is the inspiration for this month’s column where we will dive into the unique and creative concept of Blackout Poetry!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The term ‘poetry’ is often synonymous with the likes of Robert Frost and Maya Angelou, Walt Whitman and Sylvia Plath. We think of poetry as brief story telling using profound and melodic words. While all of that is true in the traditional sense, blackout poetry allows you to create beautiful, aesthetic works of poetry without writing a single word. I was introduced to the concept a few years ago when my daughter came home from school, excited to show me a new art project they’d done in class. I’d never heard of blackout poetry but as she explained the idea, I was hooked. So many things about this art form fascinated me! Beyond the ability to create a poem without actually writing anything, blackout poetry also transforms itself into stunning visual art. Furthermore, I learned that blackout poetry has been used by writers to help them push through writer’s block and to get those creative juices flowing! How had I not heard of this before?! Read the rest of this entry »

Get Kids Excited About Poetry with Book Spine & Blackout Poetry

Book Spine & Blackout Poetry

What’s your favorite animal?
Lucy hares and itchy bears?
The runaway bunny?
Edward the emu?
Little polar bear and the husky pup?
Beware! These Animals are Poison!

If you’ve ever gazed at a bookshelf and seen sentences, then the Forbes Library’s Book Spine Poetry Contest is for you! Book spine poetry, a form of “writing” that involves stacking books so that the titles on their spines create a poem, is an art form accessible to readers of all ages and sizes. In order to participate, families need only to snap a photo of their poem as pictured here and upload it to the library’s Facebook page. While there’s no rush to write (or stack!), the contest ends on April 30th – so be sure to start soon! Prizes will be awarded to the best poem for adults, best poem for teens, and a handful of other categories as well.

Though being limited to only the possibilities granted by book spines might feel restrictive at first, book spine poetry actually offers lots of space for creativity and original ideas. The huge number of books at Forbes (or in any local library) offer thousands and thousands of titles to turn into lines in a poem. Families can experiment with different styles of poetry, too – perhaps a haiku, end rhyme, or alliterative verse might be possible to create using some of your favorite titles. Read the rest of this entry »

%d bloggers like this: