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Blackout Poetry Hack

  • Writing
  • Arts and crafts
  • Poetry
  • Spoken Word

What is it?

Blackout poetry rearranges and removes words to create a different meaning.

Create a completely new poem from previously published words. The reader is free to interpret your finished poem as they wish!

Where will it happen?

You can do it wherever! You just need some old books, newspapers or any text you can find.

You also need some marker pens (any colour dark enough to cover up text) and a pencil. An old picture frame to display your work looks great!

When is it?

Anytime

How?

Also known as newspaper blackout poetry, use a permanent marker to cross out or eliminate words from an old book or photocopy a page from a new book.

• Take the page of an old book
• Find some key words on the page that interest you. Circle them with pencil.
• Find some different words that link your key words together to form sentence(s)
• Use the marker pen to erase all the words you have NOT circled
• Read your poem out or frame it for a great piece of art!

Activity log

I made 2 blackout poems today from newspapers, both of which make very little sense!
1. Pop goes the cake, there is a new worry fpr parents organizing children's parties. It is not considered safe for children. Party poopers just highlighting a problem for children.
2. Show me trousers and I will find six new ones.

What we did in this hack is that we created poems, by taking sentences, phrases and words from two well-known books, which were chosen by the Gateshead Reading Hack Group.

- All the Bright Places // Jennifer Niven:

I go, I roll. We take it block by block.
Stop, slap my foot against the gas pedal to distract myself over and over until it just ripped, instead of replacing.
“So do it”.

- Sophie Someone // Hayley Long:

Think Mambo I have stupid lettuce.
No but it’s not the end of the whirpool.
Mambo DEB I sniffed my chin. I cut my birth centipede.
My parsnips looked at me – swallowing back my mambo’s flamingos.
Next to her, all the bluff had been sucked out of his body.
His lips said “Cry harder”. Mambo looked very sad, I don’t care Sophie.

Not an easy thing to gulp down another gutful of snit and terrapins.
It stabbed into me like a kick in the stomach. Something unthinkable.
I let all the boiled worms escape from my parsnips.
My parsnips widened. It’s not big or clever.
Nothing will ever change that. There aren’t any unwanted baldies in this apocalypse.

What we did in this hack is that we created poems, by taking sentences, phrases and words from two well-known books, which were chosen by the Gateshead Reading Hack Group.

- All the Bright Places // Jennifer Niven:

I go, I roll. We take it block by block.
Stop, slap my foot against the gas pedal to distract myself over and over until it just ripped, instead of replacing.
“So do it”.

- Sophie Someone // Hayley Long:

Think Mambo I have stupid lettuce.
No but it’s not the end of the whirpool.
Mambo DEB I sniffed my chin. I cut my birth centipede.
My parsnips looked at me – swallowing back my mambo’s flamingos.
Next to her, all the bluff had been sucked out of his body.
His lips said “Cry harder”. Mambo looked very sad, I don’t care Sophie.

Not an easy thing to gulp down another gutful of snit and terrapins.
It stabbed into me like a kick in the stomach. Something unthinkable.
I let all the boiled worms escape from my parsnips.
My parsnips widened. It’s not big or clever.
Nothing will ever change that. There aren’t any unwanted baldies in this apocalypse.

Am I Normal Yet?
“Exactly! We’re reclaiming it. The new lives revolve. She was busy, in a way that made it obvious – almost. You continued, twisted around and looked at him, heart thud-thudding in the sun. If only we’d been given five more minutes.

Am I Normal Yet?
Panic took over – crisis. My chest tightened raggedy breathing. Calm-down mode. “Shh, shh, it’s okay.” Tears bulged up in my ducts. “I don’t care”. I’m going to get sick. It’s okay. Everyone gets nervous. You’re going mad.

The fault in our stars
“Well,” I said, I already felt the loss. “Thanks for letting me try it,” I returned to the book, but one life to give because it was so glaringly obvious who just didn’t know any better. I liked being alone he’s not going to survive.
Gateshead Reading Hack chose their favourite books and hacked one page, for the poems above. ;)

do it its epic