Blackout poetry

Have any of you tried blackout poetry? I first learned about this last year when J told me she would like to travel to Austin for her upcoming birthday. I spent an hour or so researching neat things for us to do in Austin because taking her was certainly my intention. I came across this bookstore on wheels Fifth Dimension Books and was intrigued by the backstory of how the bookstore started up. I was stoked to visit. Then I saw an example of blackout poetry that they offer. The wandering bookstore advertises that anyone can create their own blackout poem in less than 1o minutes. If you have absolutely no idea what I am talking about with blackout poetry …here is a good representation. All you need is a newspaper and a redacting marker/pen to obscure the text. I’m not sure what the best option is at this point. I’d probably choose a Sharpie to start. If you’re like me then you already have quite an abundance of these lying around or in your junk drawer.

I have not had the opportunity taken the time to create my own yet because honestly it’s something I had hoped to do with J, but I’m going to give it a shot as an additional creative outlet for myself. I also intend to bring it up in group this week as I think some of the members would be really into the idea of it. I read the local newspaper almost everyday so why not put it to more use than just reading. I’ve seen a few examples of creators who did a really good job with theirs and matted and framed them and I think the art form would make a great wall gallery or even if hung as a solitaire.

So I ask again, have you ever tried this? If so, what are your best or favorite poems that you have created?

Come back to this post tomorrow for an update on my first attempt at a blackout poem.


Here are my are my first few failed attempts. It seems as though all of my sharpies dried out during my camping trip. To an architect, this is blasphemy. I plan on cleaning these up over the next few days if I have more energy. These past few days I’ve been far more drained that usual and I’m not sure what’s up.


# 1 “Stalled because of terror yet spared with recovery.”- Meaning to me? Resonates to my life pretty accurately. I was terrified by diagnosis, some days I still am. Yet, I am on a recovery…daily.


#2 (read from L column to R) “Depressed people cannot claim peace and feel like their lives are nothing.” – Meaning to me? It’s pretty self explanatory.


#3 “Leave no want that will be in charge.” – Meaning to me? Go after things you want, don’t let them simply be in charge of what you desire. Go get it/them.


5 thoughts on “Blackout poetry

  1. I must admit I don’t get most poetry, but I’m getting better. My ex, who is a poet would love to hear me say that. This looks fun, though. I look forward to seeing your post tomorrow.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Finally got them up, Brad. I’ll clean them up in the next few days or so with a fresh sharpie and they’ll have the appearance of what they’re really supposed to look like. I did these in less than 10 minutes. I can’t wait until I feel better and can concentrate more and produce better samples.


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