Not the typical poetry

Above: One student’s poem reads, “Mother described me as a small girl who had learned how to be strong.

“Anyone can scribble out words. The clever part is knowing which ones to leave.” -Anonymous, from a blackout poem

Blackout poetry is not your typical poetry. Unlike a sonnet, haiku, or other piece of poetry, blackout poetry starts with someone else’s work. The majority of words in an article or page of a book are crossed out, or blacked out, leaving a completely new poem and idea in its place.

Originally, this style of poetry was started by author Austin Kleon, who decided to cure his writer's block by scribbling out words in a newspaper.

A couple of Bettendorf students have anonymously submitted their own blackout poems to the Growl

Above: Another student’s work uses the blackout space to create a picture of a cap, gown, and graduation ceremony invitation. The only words used are “You will miss it,” referring to high school.


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