How to Blackout Poetry

What is blackout poetry? 

Blackout poetry is when you take a written piece of text from a book, newspaper, or magazine and redact words, in order to come up with your very own poetry!

Step 1

Find a newspaper article, and old book or a magazine that you feel comfortable destroying....er, altering.

Step 2

Skim the passage and keep your eye out for that eye-catching word that will guide the theme of your poem.

Step 3

Read the poem in its entirety. Go back and circle words or short phrases that might relate to your eye-catching word or phrase.

Step 4

Make your final decisions and black out the rest of the poem! Your poem can be made up of single words or phrases. They can be single words or they can be read like a story. It's totally up to you!

Tips and Tricks

  • This exercise is great for those struggling with writer's block.
  • Have fun with the words and phrases that really speak to you.
  • Share with others. Maybe your blackout poetry will speak to them too!


Laura D. contributed some select works from her collection of Blackout Poetry to this blog post. She currently has a whole book she is working to turn into Blackout Poetry. Follow her at AraphoeLauraD.


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