Writing Prompt: Recycle A newspaper poem

Armed with only a few black markers, Austin Kleon goes hunting for poetry. His target: the latest issue of the NY Times, and I’m not talking about some insert in the culture section. Every article on every page contains a poem — lots of poems — but you have to know where to look. Kleon has mastered the art of finding those elusive poems in jungles of newsprint.

The art Kleon practices is also known as blackout poetry. He leafs through ordinary newspapers, but instead of reading them for their news, he takes their words, boxes a few them out, and blacks out the rest, forming some very compelling poetry. In doing so, he’s become something of a sensation: The New Yorker said his poems “resurrect the newspaper when everybody else is declaring it dead,” and according to The Atlantic,  he is  “positively one of the most interesting people on the Internet.” Check out the video below to see how he crafted his poem “No Angel.”

We all know it’s a good idea to recycle newspapers, so why not up the ante and recycle their words too? Check out Kleon’s website for more inspiration, then grab a newspaper, pick one of the articles on the front page, and craft your own blackout poem.

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