His redacted masterpieces have won him both a book deal and a line of art prints sold through online gallery 20×200. The focus of his Tumblr, however, is his fans. Anyone with a marker, a newspaper and a little creativity can submit to the site. The result is a kind of free-form word search, with people providing one-liners that range from funny to enigmatic to genuinely thought-provoking. Whether or not you consider it actual poetry, it’s definitely not a bad way to recycle your morning paper.
Thanks very much to TIME readers who recommended the site and to all who’ve submitted poems in the last couple of years. Strangely enough, the site is almost exactly 2 years old! I knew there should be a site where people could submit their own poems, but I was waiting around for the right platform to come along. Luckily, a few months before the book came out, Tumblr started allowing users to submit posts. And that was that. Today the site has over 25,000 readers.
I’m still accepting poems, so feel free to send me yours: NewspaperBlackout.com→
A new 20×200 print, “So Many Places,” is available through WestElm.com.
the world is so many places! — yet home is the word we’re encouraged to find
Here’s an excerpt of a mini-interview I did with the West Elm folks:
How do you live with art?
My wife and I work together in a home studio, so we like to surround ourselves with art by filling our walls with pieces from artists we love. Sometimes I’ll even frame and hang pictures of (mostly dead) artist heroes of mine — they’re like friendly ghosts, I can feel them pushing me on while I work. (It’s way less morbid than it sounds.)
What is a favorite gallery or museum that you particularly love or that inspires your work?
Here in Austin, Texas, I really like to stop by Yard Dog Art Gallery on South Congress and see the stuff they have up. Because I’m both a writer and an artist, my absolute favorite spot in town is the Harry Ransom Center on the University of Texas campus — their archive is massive and their exhibits are terrific. I’ve seen everything there from original Frida Kahlo paintings to James Joyce manuscripts.
what is the most fun / is to grab you / and find something wrong to do
In plenty of time for Valentine’s Day, here’s a new blackout print from 20×200!
Just in time for the holidays, here are two brand-new Newspaper Blackout prints.
“Open Road” available at 20×200.com→
“How To Be Cool” available at 20×200.com→
This poem is a “deleted scene”—it was cut from my book, Newspaper Blackout, late in the editing process, although now I can’t remember why. It was made from an article about the Brooklyn rapper Lil Mama.
Also: Steal Like An Artist is available for pre-order!