ARCHIVES

Posts Tagged ‘newspaper blackout poems contest’


WINNERS OF THE NOVEMBER NEWSPAPER BLACKOUT POEMS CONTEST

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008

A lot of good entries this month, but the winner was Erica Westcott of Virginia Beach, VA, for her poem, “Enigma.”

"Enigma" By Erica Westcott

I love the restraint Erica showed in this poem and the top-heavy black space. Here’s what she had to say about the making of it:

I am a mild mannered histology technician by day, and in my spare time I enjoy skydiving, knitting, and reading. After stumbling across your blog and admiring all the blackout poems, I thought I’d try my hand at one. They looked pretty easy, something to pass my lunch hour at work: just pick out a few words and string them together somehow, sort of like refrigerator magnet poetry. Wrong! I struggled for several days before coming up with something that sounded and looked just right. (Rarely is the structural appearance of what I write as important as the words themselves.) The subject matter of the original newspaper article was an amusing distraction, too. I never imagined the travails of a hostess — who knew! — mixed with a snippet of a second article could all be pared down and curiously transformed into poetry at the end.

Our runner-ups: Sarah Reyes from Newtown, PA, Brandon Weaver from La Mirada, CA, and Amy E. Hall from Franklin, TN.

Congratulations, Erica, Sarah, Brandon, and Amy! Y’all will get your free books next September.

And an honorable mention goes out to Nick Wiesneski, who just couldn’t get it together in time to make the deadline, but finished his poem anyways, and sent it in in-progress and completed:

in progress blackout poem

You can see all the winners of the contest in the Newspaper Blackout Poems Flickr Pool, and add your own to the mix!

A big thank-you to everyone who entered the four contests. Y’all were great.

Posting around here for the next month or so might be pretty slow, as I’m in the home stretch of finishing up the book manuscript. If you’re dying for more blackout action, check out this interview I did via e-mail with Mitch Knox, a journalism student from Australia, where we discuss the contest, the book, and Garfield Minus Garfield, amongst other things.

And stay tuned for fun stuff planned for January! I’m thinking about having an international contest, where y’all can send me whatever you want (as long as it’s in English and I can read it). I’ll pick a winner, or winners, and send them a signed copy out of my own personal stash. So keep practicing!

NOVEMBER NEWSPAPER BLACKOUT POEMS CONTEST

Saturday, November 1st, 2008

The contest is now closed. See the winners!

Read the official contest rules.

For this contest, one winner and three runners-up will receive a free copy of the book, along with the chance to be published in the book!

To enter the contest, you must be 18 and a US resident (sorry to all you young’uns and overseas folk!) One entry per monthly contest.

The two columns of newspaper below are from November 1, 1908, 100 years ago. Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to turn them into a poem.

november newspaper blackout contest

[download high-quality GIF image] | [download PDF]

Directions

You can go about the creation of your poem in one of two ways:

WITH MARKER FUMES

  1. Download the PDF and print it out (you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader)
  2. Black out the words in the newspaper text into a poem
  3. Scan or take a digital picture of the poem. Be sure it’s readable.
  4. Save an image of the poem as a .jpg, .gif, or .png file less than 2MB in file size
  5. Send in the file along with the required information using the submission form

WITHOUT MARKER FUMES

  1. Download the high-resolution GIF and save it to your desktop (right-click save as on the link)
  2. Open the GIF with an image-editing program like Paint or Photoshop
  3. Black out the words in the newspaper text into a poem
  4. Save an image of the poem as a .jpg, .gif, or .png file less than 2MB in file size
  5. Send in the image file along with the required information using the submission form

TIPS

  • Combine both columns into one poem—don’t just do each column at a time! It doesn’t make for a good read. Skip between the two…this allows for more interesting possibilities. You can see the previous winners here and here and here.
  • Remember that Westerners read left-to-right, up-to-down. Poems read best if they follow that pattern.
  • You can get around the left/right/up/down problem by connecting words with whitespace. (See an example.)
  • What you are doing when making a blackout poem, in the words of Allen Ginsberg, is “shopping for images.” Nouns and verbs make the best images.
  • Regardless of where it’s located in the text, I always start a poem by looking for a word or image that resonates with me and move from there.
  • It’s a lot like a word search.
  • You don’t have to use the whole text. What to leave in / leave out / how long is the magic.
  • Poetry doesn’t have to be serious!
  • Try not to think to hard about it and let it flow! It might take you a bunch of tries. Don’t be intimidated! Anyone can do it!

One winner and three runners-up will be announced at the end of the month.

See the previous winners from August, September, and October.

Help us spread the word! Link to:
http://www.austinkleon.com/newspaper-blackout-poems

Good luck!

Submission form

Read the official contest rules.

Remember: only US residents 18 and older. One contest entry per month, please. Be sure to fill out all required fields and keep your image file limited to 2MB or smaller.

All entries must be submitted by November 21, 2008 (5:00 P.M. EST)

The contest is now closed. See the winners!

Problems with your submission? E-mail: blackoutpoems [at] gmail [dot] com

Become a fan of the poems on Facebook

WINNERS OF THE OCTOBER NEWSPAPER BLACKOUT POEM CONTEST

Monday, October 27th, 2008

Lots of dentistry-themed poems this month, but the winner was Marty Smith of Washington, DC, for his poem, “Teeth.”

teeth by marty smith

I dig the graphic inventiveness of Marty’s poem—”subtraction” method, indeed!

Our runner-ups were all from the grand state of Illinois: Pete Anderson from Joliet, and Kristen Delap and James Francis Flynn from Chicago.

Congratulations, Marty, Pete, Kristen, and James! Y’all will get your free books next September.

Okay, folks: you have one more shot at a free book. Check back November 1st for the next contest!

OCTOBER NEWSPAPER BLACKOUT POEMS CONTEST

Wednesday, October 1st, 2008

THE CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED. SEE THE WINNERS.

Enter the contest and you could win a free book and be published!

Read the official contest rules.

Get out your markers: this is the third of four monthly contests we’ll be running for the rest of the year. For each monthly contest, one winner and three runners-up will receive a free copy of the book, along with the chance to be published in the book!

To enter the contest, you must be 18 and a US resident (sorry to all you young’uns and overseas folk!) One entry per monthly contest.

The two columns of newspaper below are from October 1, 1908, 100 years ago. Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to turn them into a poem.

september newspaper blackout contest

[download high-quality GIF image] | [download PDF]

Directions

You can go about the creation of your poem in one of two ways:

WITH MARKER FUMES

  1. Download the PDF and print it out (you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader)
  2. Black out the words in the newspaper text into a poem
  3. Scan or take a digital picture of the poem. Be sure it’s readable.
  4. Save an image of the poem as a .jpg, .gif, or .png file less than 2MB in file size
  5. Send in the file along with the required information using the submission form

WITHOUT MARKER FUMES

  1. Download the high-resolution GIF and save it to your desktop (right-click save as on the link)
  2. Open the GIF with an image-editing program like Paint or Photoshop
  3. Black out the words in the newspaper text into a poem
  4. Save an image of the poem as a .jpg, .gif, or .png file less than 2MB in file size
  5. Send in the image file along with the required information using the submission form

TIPS

  • Combine both columns into one poem—don’t just do each column at a time! It doesn’t make for a good read. Skip between the two…this allows for more interesting possibilities. You can see the previous winners here and here.
  • Remember that Westerners read left-to-right, up-to-down. Poems read best if they follow that pattern.
  • You can get around the left/right/up/down problem by connecting words with whitespace. (See an example.)
  • What you are doing when making a blackout poem, in the words of Allen Ginsberg, is “shopping for images.” Nouns and verbs make the best images.
  • Regardless of where it’s located in the text, I always start a poem by looking for a word or image that resonates with me and move from there.
  • It’s a lot like a word search.
  • You don’t have to use the whole text. What to leave in / leave out / how long is the magic.
  • Poetry doesn’t have to be serious!
  • Try not to think to hard about it and let it flow! It might take you a bunch of tries. Don’t be intimidated! Anyone can do it!

One winner and three runners-up will be announced at the end of the month, along with our last contest in November.

You can see the previous winners here and here.

Help us spread the word! Link to:
http://www.austinkleon.com/newspaper-blackout-poems

Good luck!

Submission form

Read the official contest rules.

Remember: only US residents 18 and older. One contest entry per month, please. Be sure to fill out all required fields and keep your image file limited to 2MB or smaller.

All entries must be submitted by October 23, 2008 (5:00 P.M. EST)

THE CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED. SEE THE WINNERS.

Problems with your submission? E-mail: blackoutpoems [at] gmail [dot] com

Become a fan of the poems on Facebook

WINNERS OF THE SEPTEMBER NEWSPAPER BLACKOUT POEM CONTEST

Monday, September 29th, 2008

This month, I decided to announce two co-winners and two runner-ups. The first co-winner is Peter Boet, a civil engineer from Grand Haven, Michigan, for his poem, “Clue.”

peter boet blackout poem winner

Here’s Peter on the making of his poem:

After scanning the article a couple times, the words that stuck out for me were “revolver” and “dining room” because they reminded me of the board game Clue. I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to find Professor Plum or Colonel Mustard, although I think I did check. I was searching for Mr. Green when I stumbled upon Mrs. White hanging out near the lower left hand corner. Thankfully, most of the article had to do with games and winning so I was able to tie them together.

The second co-winner is Stephanie Cheng, a third-year med student at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, for her poem, “The Walrus Makes a Toast.”

Here’s Stephanie on the making of her poem:

I find myself checking the site between patients during slow clinic days. One of my favorites was “Adventures in the Batsuit” (both the original and the retooled). The allusion to Batman makes the poem so rich, providing a whole backstory on which to comment. So when I saw the words “oyster” and “steam(er)” in the newspaper text, I immediately thought of Lewis Carroll’s “The Walrus and the Carpenter” and the rest of the poem fell into place from there. Because I don’t get to write a lot of non-medical stuff these days and am subsequently full of literary rust, it felt delightfully perverse to use someone else’s words and twist them to tell my own story.”

I find it fascinating that the two best poems in this month’s contest were both references to pop culture, and both poets had a similar approach to making their poems: they found a few words that recalled a strong association, and then they filled a poem in around them. That’s often the method that yields my best poems, too.

The runner-ups were Brandon Gillin of South Royalton, Vermont, and Charles Toeppe of Monroe, Michigan. (Three winners from Michigan this month! Crazy!)

Congratulations, Peter, Stephanie, Brandon, and Charles! Y’all will get your free books next September.

And a big round of applause to everyone else who entered the contest. It’s a ton of fun reading all your submissions.

If you haven’t entered yet, have no fear: there are two more contests coming up: one starting this Wednesday, October 1st, and one in November.

Become a fan on Facebook!

Subscribe to the NEWSPAPER BLACKOUT POEMS RSS Feed

WINNERS OF THE AUGUST NEWSPAPER BLACKOUT POEMS CONTEST

Friday, September 12th, 2008

The winner of the August contest was Alison Conlon of Canton, MA, for her poem, “Roach Stain”:

newspaper blackout poem by alison conlon

Alison’s poem did everything I think a great blackout poem should do: it totally transforms the original article into a vivid image, it reads cleanly from left to right, top to bottom, and best of all, it has a sense of humor. She was innovative with the text: dig the way she combined “struggle-ing” and “m-y.” (“Cheats” I use all the time!) Also dig the way she drew geometric shapes around the words—everything’s either a floating triangle, a circle, or a rectangle. Something worth stealing!

I asked Alison to write a little something about herself, and here’s what she sent me:

I live in the Boston area with my husband, 1 yr old son and 2 dogs. I have a long train ride to and from work everyday, and I have found that the Newspaper Blackout Poems are a great way to pass the time (though also an easy way to miss my stop!). When I first read through the August article, the task of writing a poem seemed more than a little daunting. It is one thing to use your own words, but when you have to work within the confines of pre-existing words and order it is something else entirely! After many reads I selected a few images that I thought I could work with. Once I saw that “crushed,” “roach,” and and “kitchen” were all there, my direction was set. I then just looked for the right words to pull it all together. I love that Blackout Poems are more than just a written piece of art. Because of the location of the words and how you choose to select or link them, they can also be a piece of visual art as well.

Too cool!

The also-excellent runner-ups were Josh Whitcomb of St. Paul, MN, Mark Larson of Atlanta, GA, and Tim Bakke of Minneapolis, MN. You’ll be able to see their poems, along with Alison’s, in the book!

Congrats to Alison, Josh, Mark, and Tim: y’all will get your free books next September!

And BIG THANKS to everybody who entered the contest. It was a rough article, so if you didn’t win, try this month’s! You have less than two weeks left to get your entries in: they’re due September 21, 2008 (5:00 P.M. EST).

ENTER THE SEPTEMBER NEWSPAPER BLACKOUT POEMS CONTEST

SEPTEMBER NEWSPAPER BLACKOUT POEMS CONTEST

Monday, September 1st, 2008

THE CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED. SEE THE WINNERS.

Read the official contest rules.

Get out your markers: this is the second of four monthly contests we’ll be running for the rest of the year. For each monthly contest, one winner and three runners-up will receive a free copy of the book, along with the chance to be published in the book!

To enter the contest, you must be 18 and a US resident (sorry to all you young’uns and overseas folk!) One entry per monthly contest.

The two columns of newspaper below are from September 1, 1908, 100 years ago. Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to turn them into a poem.

september newspaper blackout contest

[download high-quality GIF image] | [download PDF]

Directions

You can go about the creation of your poem in one of two ways:

WITH MARKER FUMES

  1. Download the PDF and print it out (you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader)
  2. Black out the words in the newspaper text into a poem
  3. Scan or take a digital picture of the poem. Be sure it’s readable.
  4. Save an image of the poem as a .jpg, .gif, or .png file less than 2MB in file size
  5. Send in the file along with the required information using the submission form

WITHOUT MARKER FUMES

  1. Download the high-quality GIF and save it to your desktop (right-click save as on the link)
  2. Open the GIF with an image-editing program like Paint or Photoshop
  3. Black out the words in the newspaper text into a poem
  4. Save an image of the poem as a .jpg, .gif, or .png file less than 2MB in file size
  5. Send in the image file along with the required information using the submission form

TIPS

  • Try your best to combine both columns into one poem, skipping between the two…this allows for more interesting possibilities.
  • Remember that Westerners read left-to-right, up-to-down. Poems read best if they follow that pattern.
  • You can get around the left/right/up/down problem by connecting words with whitespace. (See an example.)
  • What you are doing when making a blackout poem, in the words of Allen Ginsberg, is “shopping for images.” Nouns and verbs make the best images.
  • Regardless of where it’s located in the text, I always start a poem by looking for a word or image that resonates with me and move from there.
  • It’s a lot like a word search.
  • You don’t have to use the whole text. What to leave in / leave out / how long is the magic.
  • Poetry doesn’t have to be serious!
  • Try not to think to hard about it and let it flow! It might take you a bunch of tries. Don’t be intimidated! Anyone can do it!

One winner and three runners-up will be announced at the end of the month, along with a new contest in October.

Help us spread the word! Link to:
http://www.austinkleon.com/newspaper-blackout-poems

THE CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED. SEE THE WINNERS.

Problems with your submission? E-mail: blackoutpoems [at] gmail [dot] com

Become a fan of the poems on Facebook

AUGUST NEWSPAPER BLACKOUT POEMS CONTEST

Friday, August 1st, 2008

THE CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED. SEE THE WINNERS.

Enter the contest and you could win a free copy of the book and be published!

Read the official contest rules.

Get out your markers: this is the first of four monthly contests we’ll be running for the rest of the year. For each monthly contest, one winner and three runners-up will receive a free copy of the book, along with the chance to be published in the book!

To enter the contest, you must be 18 and a US resident (sorry to all you young’uns and overseas folk!) One entry per monthly contest.

The two columns of newspaper below are from August 1, 1908, 100 years ago. Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to turn them into a poem.

[download high-quality GIF image] | [download PDF]

Directions

You can go about the creation of your poem in one of two ways:

WITH MARKER FUMES

  1. Download the PDF and print it out (you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader)
  2. Black out the words in the newspaper text into a poem
  3. Scan or take a digital picture of the poem. Be sure it’s readable.
  4. Save an image of the poem as a .jpg, .gif, or .png file less than 2MB in file size
  5. Send in the file along with the required information using the submission form

WITHOUT MARKER FUMES

  1. Download the high-quality GIF and save it to your desktop (right-click save as on the link)
  2. Open the GIF with an image-editing program like Paint or Photoshop
  3. Black out the words in the newspaper text into a poem
  4. Save an image of the poem as a .jpg, .gif, or .png file less than 2MB in file size
  5. Send in the image file along with the required information using the submission form

TIPS

  • Remember that Westerners read left-to-right, up-to-down. Poems read best if they follow that pattern.
  • You can get around the left/right/up/down problem by connecting words with whitespace. (See an example.)
  • What you are doing when making a blackout poem, in the words of Allen Ginsberg, is “shopping for images.” Nouns and verbs make the best images.
  • Regardless of where it’s located in the text, I always start a poem by looking for a word or image that resonates with me and move from there.
  • It’s a lot like a word search.
  • You don’t have to use the whole text. What to leave in / leave out / how long is the magic.
  • Poetry doesn’t have to be serious!
  • Try not to think to hard about it and let it flow! It might take you a bunch of tries. Don’t be intimidated! Anyone can do it!

One winner and three runners-up will be announced at the end of the month, along with a new contest in September.

Help us spread the word! Link to:
http://www.austinkleon.com/newspaper-blackout-poems

Good luck!

Submission form

Read the official contest rules.

Remember: only US residents 18 and older. One contest entry per month, please. Be sure to fill out all required fields and keep your image file limited to 2MB or smaller.

All entries must be submitted by August 22, 2008 (5:00 PM EST)

THE CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED. SEE THE WINNERS.

Problems with your submission? E-mail: blackoutpoems [at] gmail [dot] com

Become a fan of the poems on Facebook



Subscribe to my newsletter and get new art, writing, and interesting links delivered to your inbox every week.