Newspaper Blackout (Review)

July 28, 2010

Book cover for "Newspaper Blackout" by Austin Kleon.Title: Newspaper Blackout

Author: Austin Kleon

Publication Year: 2010

Pages: 208

Genre: Poetry

Source: Won from a contest

From the 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.

I’m not usually a “poetry person”, but I saw this book around a lot a few months ago, and then ended up winning a copy in a contest. It’s been sitting on my shelf since then, though, and I finally pulled it out today for some light reading!

Kleon has definitely made poetry interesting with Newspaper Blackout. You would think that there’s only so much available to make interesting poems from articles in a newspaper – and you, like me, would be wrong. I found myself laughing at many of these poems and seriously pondering others. It’s such a mixed back, but it also links together somehow in the order of the poems, flowing easily from one to the next.

I’ll definitely be using these as examples the next time I teach poetry. Possibly even sooner than that – I could see this book working as a sort of “warm up” activity or even as a brainstorming session for a creative piece or trying to decide on a topic. Thumbs up for sure!



  • Amy July 29, 2010 at 6:33 am

    I was curious about this book but wasn’t sure what to expect. I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  • zibilee July 29, 2010 at 11:51 am

    I have been reading a lot about this book and think the concept sounds really interesting. I am glad you had fun with it!

  • Vasilly July 29, 2010 at 10:53 pm

    Glad to hear you’ve enjoyed this. It’s so amazing how many interesting poems the author was able to create using just the newspaper.

  • Iris July 30, 2010 at 3:59 am

    I’m glad you enjoyed this. All of these positive reviews have made me curious about this book. I am not much of a poetry person myself, so maybe this would make it more fun to start discovering poetry.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *