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