Monday, May 3, 2010

Newspaper Blackout

Read 5/1/10 - 5/3/10
5 Stars - Highly Highly Recommended

So. This was one of those books I knew I had to get my hands on the moment I heard about it. And a big thank you goes out to author Austin Kleon for so wonderfully helping a copy find it's way to my doorstep.

I'm ashamed to admit that I broke my review rule for this collection. I placed it right on the top of the pile. I know I shouldn't have, but I just couldn't help myself. I started reading it in the car on the way to the chinese buffet the other night, to celebrate my son's 7th birthday. I locked myself in my car on my lunch breaks this weekend just to have a few minutes alone with it.

And now.

Emptiness. Sadness. Regret.

I wish I had waited. I wish I could have made it last longer. It's like taking the last bite of your favorite piece of cake - dripping with chocolate and caramel, moist and delicious - soooo good you can't help but finish it quickly. Though the whole time you are telling yourself to slow down and savour it. That you'll be sorry you didn't make it last.

Oh god, did I just call Austin's book moist and delicious?!?

It's really amazing to think that he created these poems almost by accident. Frustrated with writing, struggling with the process, Austin picked up a black marker and began to blackout sections of the newspaper, circling a few words here and there that caught his eye. And what words remained became poems. Posting them on his blog turned out to be just what he needed. People liked what they were seeing, wanted more, and word spread throughout the internet.

Four years after he created his first Blackout Poem, Austin Kleon became a published poet.

His collection is Strange. Beautiful. Breath-taking. Humorous. Witty. Creative.

There are themes that run throughout the book: Nakedness, monsters, bugs, wives, kings, captains, love, Texas.

Here is a taste of what you will find inside- (click the image to enlarge it)

Austin shares contest winners poems at the end of his book, and invites the reader to create their own blackout poems as well.

A very unique twist on a very old concept. Starting with a page full of words, and removing the ones he has no use for, Austin creates more than a poem. Every page he touches become a piece of art.

If you have not seen his work, please visit his blog, which he updates quite frequently, for sneak peeks of his work. He also refers throughout his book to A Humument by Tom Phillips, which I encourage you to check out as well.

Maybe one day I will find myself attempting to create my own blackout poem. In the meantime, I will get my fix from Kleon's blog, and see if I can't get my hands on a copy of A Humument.

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