By Austin Kleon
(Harper Perennial, Paperback, 9780061732973, 208pp.)
Publication Date: April 2010
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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 funny, and undoubtedly entertaining. The latest creations in a long history of "found art," Newspaper Blackout will challenge you to find new meaning in the familiar and inspiration from the mundane.
Newspaper Blackout contains original poems by Austin Kleon, as well as submissions from readers of Kleon's popular online blog and a handy appendix on how to create your own blackout poetry.
Austin Kleon is a writer, cartoonist, and designer. His Newspaper Blackout poems have been featured on NPR's Morning Edition, in Toronto's National Post, and all over the Web. He lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife, Meghan.
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.
-NPR's Morning Edition
One can imagine taking up blackout poetry on their daily bus commute in place of sudoku or the crossword puzzle.
-Toronto's National Post
Sort of like Michelangelo carving away the marble that imprisoned what he saw within.
-Cleveland Plain Dealer
“…a kind of Rorschach approach to reading newspapers…”
-Wall Street Journal
“[A] sense of play infuses the poems—short pieces that touch on first sex and outer space, in a voice that slips from funny to elegiac…”
“…hidden bits of Zen lite that occasionally bump up against brilliance….Kleon manages to turn the paper of record into visually stark nuggets of poetry and wit. All the Muse That’s Fit to Print, you might say.”
“Highbrow/brilliant…It’s better than it sounds.”
-New York magazine
“Part ‘writing with constrictions,’ part happy accident, part found art, part design challenge...the collection...gives a well rounded and consistent view into a guy most of us would want to buy a beer.”
“[The poems] resurrect the newspaper when everyone else is declaring it dead…like a cross between magnetic refrigerator poetry and enigmatic ransom notes, funny and zen-like, collages of found art…”
-The New Yorker
“Some of the results are hilarious, some are profound and even unsettling, but they are never bland or boring.”