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Newspaper Blackout Paperback – 1 May 2010

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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; 1 edition (1 May 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061732974
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061732973
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.3 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 329,234 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


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 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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Inside This Book

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By H. Stoevring on 6 May 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I absolutely love this little gem and I recommend it to everyone who loves poetry, loves words and the beauty that you can find in them..

I've bought one for myself, one for a hostess-gift and two for birthday-presents!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 35 reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Approachable poetry--a lot of fun! 30 April 2010
By Scott Bowen - Published on
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.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Newspapers are Still Good for Something 19 May 2010
By Stephanie Snyder - Published on
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.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Very creative 4 May 2010
By Kyle Steed - Published on
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.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Best addition to my library in a LONG time 6 May 2010
By Dominic N. Hackley - Published on
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.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
More than Poetry 6 May 2010
By L. S. Ball - Published on
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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