Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Blackout Poetry of Austin Kleon


^ "Same Swords", by Austin Kleon

I love graphic design, but when I need inspiration, sometimes it is best taken from elsewhere. As you saw, my last post featured plants and gardening. And this one, blackout poetry from Austin, Texas.

What is blackout poetry, you ask? It is a type of poetry based on found words and subtraction. This particular artist, Austin Kleon, takes a marker to a page of the New York Times and blacks out all except for a few words. The words come to make sense as phrases, some incredibly deep and some not so much, but still interesting. And thus: blackout poetry.

I stumbled across this phenomena via Texas Monthly (the creative directors of which I was lucky enough to meet this past week - very inspiring). Just before SXSW, their website featured a review of his new book, "Newspaper Blackout", and I fell in love immediately.

Though these have a rather unorthodox layout, your eye is slowly led around the page in a way that ends up making sense, witnessing something that you never would have found on your own. I have a hard time putting into words what I love about his thoughts: they are comfortable yet unnerving, vintage and country, often with great wit and a sense of playfulness. Sometimes, in the beginning of reading one, I will underestimate it, and at the end he hits with something brilliant. The book review on Texas Monthly sums the work up perfectly: "hidden bits of Zen lite that occasionally bump up against brilliance."



^ "The Co-Founder of the Artist"



^ "The Parent Unhappy"



^ "Texas is Actually Real"



^ "What Happens to the Married" (posted on his three-year anniversary)



^ "Overheard on the Titanic"


I've only posted a few here, a nibble of food for thought. For more newspaper blackout poems by Austin Kleon, visit his website.

1 comment:

StephieD. said...

This is fabulous!! Thanks for sharing lady. Miss you :-)