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Newspaper Blackout Paperback – April 13, 2010

4.3 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The poems are exquisite. Some are funny, some are ironic, some are moving, some are deep....poetry about love, children, teenagers, relationships, drummers, Cleveland, and the universe....This is a thought-provoking, fun, and inspirational book that will bring out the poet in you, if you'll only let it." -Blogcritics.org

"The technique of 'finding' a hidden text within a text is not new, as Austin will tell you, but his approach is. He has liberated it from the left-field manifestos and postmodern posturing which have usually accompanied it. These poems are sweet, poignant, evocative, and funny." --Drew Dernavich

"...pieces that work exceptionally well both as poetry and works of art....one of the year's most striking (and often surprising) books." -- David Gutowski, largeheartedboy.com

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…” (Austin Chronicle)

“…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.” (Texas Monthly)

“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.” (Radio Exile)

“[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.” (The Ephemerist)

From the Back Cover

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.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; 1 edition (April 13, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061732974
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061732973
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #404,900 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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