NPM: The Art of Blackout Poetry

The Art of Blackout Poetry • TeachKidsArt

What is Blackout Poetry?

According to, “A blackout poem is when a poet takes a marker (usually a black marker) to already established text— like in a newspaper— and starts redacting words until a poem is formed.”

Can Only Poets Create Blackout Poetry?

Before reading the article, I already knew what blackout poetry was, but when I read the definition, I was surprised by the part that said blackout poetry is created by poets. I mean, I always thought that anyone, poet or not, could create blackout poetry.

However, when I Googled the definition of a poet, the Oxford dictionary said that a poet is “a person who writes poems”. Well, blackout poetry is a form of writing poems, so the people who create them would be considered poets, which also means that anyone can be a poet.

So, therefore, you don’t have to be Maya Angelou or Edgar Alan Poe to be a poet or to write great poems. You just simply have to do it— but passion helps too.

What Makes Blackout Poetry Special?

The fact that basically anyone can create blackout poetry is one reason why it’s so special. I mean, it’s quite beautiful to be able to create written art without having to have any type of writing experience or devotion.

Blackout poetry is also special because it allows room for creativity. For instance, blackout poetry doesn’t just have to be black. There can be colors, shapes, swirls, drawings, etc.— just like in the photos below.

Blackout Poetry - as creative as you want to get - Linda K SienkiewiczBlackout Poetry Workshop – Blackstone Valley Tourism

Blackout poetry is also special in that it allows for creative thinking. When writing blackout poetry, words are limited, so you have to be very meticulous in choosing them in a way that they flow and create something beautiful.

The Art of Blackout Poetry

Blackout poetry is essentially poetry that is found. Since all the words that are compiled to create this unique art form have already been written, by sorting through them and creating blackout poetry, you are “finding” your poem.

There are many ways to create blackout poetry: all black, patterns, 1 word or 5; the possibilities are endless— just as long as it makes you happy.

In honor of this blog, I decided to create some blackout poetry of my own. It’s nothing fancy, but I like it.

I hope this inspires you to create some blackout poetry of your own.

Thanks for reading 🙂

Happy National Poetry Month!

Author: Maleigh Crespo

Maleigh is a senior literary and an iced coffee enthusiast. She enjoys writing nonfiction and poetry but hopes that her affliction for short fiction will one day subside. In her free time, she can be found scrolling through Pinterest or with her beloved cat, Manny.

3 thoughts on “NPM: The Art of Blackout Poetry”

  1. Ahhh I loved doing this at the beginning of the year! This just inspired me to do some while in quarantine.

  2. Another lovely post from the one and only Maleigh Crespo…I must thank you for your awesome content. Black out poetry definitely slips under the radar, often. But it is so interesting to attempt, and I feel like every creative person should give it a go. Although it is a limited art, it can be quite freeing. And it engages your mind while enabling your imagination to spark to life. Some interesting pieces can be produced, and some insight may be revealed. Also, thank you for inspiring me. Now I want to experiment with black out poetry more. I was not too aware of all of the creative design possibilities, so thank you for sharing. (:

  3. I love blackout poetry! You remember when we did that blackout poem from the first of junior year? I’ve done several blackout poems, and would encourage others to do them as well.

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