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Poetry Friday: Altered Talk #1


After reading about Austin Kleon's "newspaper blackout" poetry, due out in a Harper Perennial book next spring, I was inspired to create this poem by using a New Yorker Talk of the Town article (Lila Byock's "Speak, Bellevue," from the 12.07.09 issue). Of course, that's cheating a little bit since the magazine's language is so literary anyway; newspapers would provide much more of a challenge. Still, I enjoyed finding the right words—as well as the surprise of what popped up. The height and width of the column of print reminded me of tall buildings, like apartment houses, in the city. I imagined the one here could be the home of a frustrated writer. The blue sky at the top comes from the construction paper that I used as a background for the scan.

The poem is an aside from my usual talk of children's books, but you'll likely find more poetry for kids in the roundup tomorrow. I'll add a link for the host blog then. Update: author Susan Taylor Brown is collecting links for all the Poetry Friday posts at her blog.

Link (and an explanation of Poetry Friday)

"Thank Goodness It's (Poetry) Friday," at the Poetry Foundation


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I hadn't heard of this before now - it's a new twist on "found" poetry, yes? Very cool. And the artwork is a nice touch!

Hey, Kelly. Thanks. I think the method would work with kids, too. Maybe older kids who wouldn't be visually overwhelmed by the number of words on a newspaper or magazine page?

This is really, really cool! Found poetry can be so much fun -- this would be a challenge!

Oh this is wonderful! I can't wait to do this with the kids in my poetry class.

Cool! That is really neat. Hadn't seen that before.

Tanita, Susan T.B., and Jules, I hope y'all will give "blacked-out" poetry a whirl, too! Thanks for stopping by. I got so excited to show the method--and Austin Kleon's site--to my fellow poetry peeps.

Now that's inspiring and fun, and, you know, I think Lucas would enjoy trying that. Maybe it will be an activity for one of the upcoming days off school...

Oh, yeah, definitely give it a try with Lucas! He'll probably catch on fast.

Wow, I'm so taken with this approach to poetry and I'm going to try it out with the children at school. Wonderful, thank you!

Carly, let us know how it goes. I enjoyed finding poems on the page, and am happy to pass it on. I'm looking forward to Austin Kleon's book, too.

Absolutely fantastic! Love it. Can't wait to try. Thanks for talking about Newspaper Blackout. I can't wait for its release. :)

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