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on April 30, 2010
This is more than a book of poetry. Austin gives some of the history behind this style of "found art" and shares what he's learned since he started. He doesn't present himself as a master of the art and a hugely profound philosopher/poet. In fact, he gives a "How-to" and encourages the reader to pick up a newspaper and marker and explore it for him/herself, and at the end he shares a few Blackout Poems from other people.

Some of the poems are funny, some are profound, but they all will make you look at any block of text in a different way.
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on May 18, 2010
It sounds easy enough. Take a newspaper article and block off a section two columns wide by 5 or 6 inches long. Look for words or phrases that speak to you and draw a box around them. Flesh out your poem using other words from the article and then "blackout" the remainder. Austin Kleon did not invent this method but he did take it and run with it. At first read the poems seem simple. But after you get out your own marker and try your hand at it, you realize how talented this guy really is. Some are funny, some are sentimental, all are thought provoking. Buy the book. Also buy a newspaper and a sharpie. Go ahead, blackout a poem. You know you want to.
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on May 4, 2010
I got the chance to meet Austin Kleon while in Austin, TX for SXSW 2010. He's a really down to earth guy and incredibly talented. I actually was able to purchase the book in advance there as well. I've enjoyed just thumbing through the book and reading different poems at random. Some are very linear and easy to read, and some you almost have to guess where the next line leads. But I think that's part of the fun and creativity about it. I recommend this book to anyone interested in not only poetry, but art as well.
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on October 19, 2013
To be expected, for sure, the random associations and blackouts make for subpar poetry. This is somewhat compensated for the originality, novelty, and the nice visuals, but these wear off partway into the book and all you're left with is rather weak poems that are mostly abstruse
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on May 6, 2010
Some inspirational, some motivational, some uppers, some downers and some out-right hilarious - Kleon's Newspaper Blackout poems runs the gamut of human emotion in an aesthetically pleasing, softcover compilation of page-turning, proverb-like poems. A must buy for anyone who can read the English language! NOTE: Make sure to purchase a few because you will be giving and gifting them away to friends, enemies and stragners alike.
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on May 6, 2010
This is poetry, yes, and some of it quite personal and interesting like the best of the genre. The blackout style makes for terse expression but, in spite of that, Austin comes across as voluble and enthusiastic. He responded to being told that his art was reductive by providing an interesting history of influences which didn't actually actively influence him. He responded to the temptation of others to take Sharpies to a page of text by encouraging others to try, printing some of the results and a guide for readers. The result is a set of nice poems, a celebration of all the words around us and an invitation to make art yourself.
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on April 22, 2015
This is a clever collection of Blackout poetry - not a unique concept but one that Austin Kleon has mastered. I keep this book handy when I want a quick dose of inspiration or even amusement. Kleon gives a great explanation of this art/poetry form and excellent instructions on how you can get started creating your own collection of Newspaper Blackout art. As a former art teacher and a long time lover of poetry, I would highly recommend this book for use in a classroom setting and it would make a unique and clever gift.
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on September 27, 2014
Awesome for a middle or high school classroom! Surprised I didn't find this gem until my 20th year teaching (I buy and read lots of instructional materials), but it wasn't until I beefed up my own (personal) writing that I stumbled on to this creative way to use text. LOVE this writing form and so did my HS students last spring! Check out A. Kleon's website and google 'blackout poetry' for SO many creative ideas... Highly recommend! *P.S. ~ We don't get to use this resource until the spring, after all of the standardized testing is completed; it, along with book groups, is a fun way to wrap up a school year.
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on February 27, 2016
I love Austin Kleon and I love this writing technique for poetry. Simple but profound. If you want to write a poem but you're intimidated by the process, BUY THIS BOOK. You will be a poet immediately. Seriously, this book ROCKS!
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on November 4, 2015
This book is not an accurate representation of black out poetry. Some of the poems don't even make sense. The ones that do leave something to be desired. I didn't find it funny either- it was mostly confusing. 2 stars because there were a few good poems and I know Kleon can do better.
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