For those of you in Austin, I’ll be at the Hotel San Jose tonight at 8PM, teaching you how to make blackout poems!
Our super-soft, super-badass Newspaper Blackout t-shirts are shipping this week! Get yours:
I am so excited to announce that my friends at Wire & Twine are handprinting our first-ever Newspaper Blackout t-shirt. I’m a customer, so I know their impeccable design taste and the high-quality of their products, but I also know that they’re good Ohio folks, based out of Oxford, a small town where I spent four of my favorite years.
“Creativity is subtraction.” It’s not a poem, it’s a rallying cry.
These tees are handprinted on American Apparel triblend atheletic heathered gray t-shirts. Which are super soft. (Meg and I own several.)
On sale now: store.austinkleon.com
I can’t think of a nicer way to cap a release day than with a successful release party in your home town bookstore, so thanks a million to BookPeople, to my wife Meg for baking her delicious chocolate chip cookies, and to the 50+ folks who came out on Tuesday night! Y’all are the best.
I started things off with a short slideshow about how I started making the poems:
And then I went into a little demonstration of how they’re done. Here I am quoting Allen Ginsberg in “A Supermarket In California“:
And here I am explaining how I think of the poems as “Word Find” puzzles we used to do as kids in elementary school:
After that, Bookpeople hooked everybody up with a marker and a newspaper, and we all set about playing:
I was really stunned by how focused everybody was, and by how many people offered to stand up and read their blackout poems for the group. It was truly awesome. You can read some of the poems over on the Newspaper Blackout Tumblr.
After that, it was time to sign some books:
Again: thank you thank you thank you to everyone who came out! It was such a gas to see y’all with markers and newspapers in hand.
For those of you outside of Austin, we don’t have many national dates planned yet, but I’m hoping that will change, so stay tuned.
UPDATE: Thanks to Eric Gomez for this really nice writeup of the event:
What stayed with me most was the fun I had. He was right: it was less like work and more like play, a kind of word search for buried humor, hidden wisdom, or laconic lament. Finding that right note of self expression might take more than a little practice however. Kleon has blacked out hundreds and hundreds of these poems. His experience is telling. I struggled with my article and then he mentioned with the timeliness of an oracle that it’s tough to write one from a political column. He finds that the articles from the “Arts or Sports sections are best.”
Austin Kleon has gained a fan not merely because of his down-to-earth and quietly erudite personality, but because the poems he has “found” buried within newsprint are poetical gems in their own right.
Thanks SO MUCH to everyone for all your links and tweets and support. This book would not exist without you.
You can see a ton of images of the book free for blogging/spreading around in my Press and Blogger’s Kit on Flickr.
Here’s a sampling of the wonderful press we’ve been getting:
“The poems resurrect the newspaper when everyone else is declaring it dead.”
—The New Yorker
—New York Magazine
“Kleon manages to turn the paper of record into visually stark nuggets of poetry and wit.”
“[A] sense of play infuses the poems—short pieces that touch on first sex and outer space, in a voice that slips from funny to elegiac…”
—The Austin Chronicle
If you haven’t purchased your copy yet, please consider doing so!
We’re having a release party here in Austin tonight at BookPeople. 7PM. There will be newspapers, Sharpies, and chocolate chip cookies.
Well, we’re almost there. After almost two years, Newspaper Blackout is out tomorrow. I woke up early this morning, feeling like a kid on Christmas Eve.
I’m excited. Book release party at Bookpeople here in Austin tomorrow night at 7PM!
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