Trying out Austin Kleon’s Newspaper Blackout for myself


Tried out some Newspaper Blackout myself. It wasn’t pretty. Although there was an alarming amount of glee with crossing out entire articles, a part of me still reasoned, “I’d rather be writing, ya know.” But, yeah, it was fun while it lasted — won’t be doing more soon; the fumes give me headaches, for seriously. I liked about one, but being trained as a poetic fogey made me want to say, “This isn’t poetry!” All attempts have been buried underneath my mattress. I’m just not a Newspaper Blackout kind of girl, I guess.

Still. Austin Kleon‘s book’s verra verra interesting. Kleon takes an article, crosses about 95% of the text, and disparate little words appear to make a poem, or an aphorism, or a riddle, or a protracted knock-knock joke. It was okay. It was cool enough. It was exactly what it claims to be.

And yes, I know that I couldn’t fully enjoy it because I’ve had a stick up my, ah, I’ve been over-intellectualizing things lately. That is: What, poetics? What for? What do you mean to say? And not simply, Why not?

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3 comments

  1. Newspaper Blackout is neat, but not amazing. It’s really fun to do with kids though! This is an exercise I did quite frequently as a tutor with kids who didn’t want to write. It gets them working with words but in a less scary way.

    1. It’s a great way to pass the time–neat, like you said, but not amazing. That’s an amazing idea about letting kids do it, though. I imagine how fascinating it must’ve been for your, ah, charges. ;p

  2. […] Newspaper Blackout, by Austin Kleon. […]

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