Last spring, more than 300 people took out their black markers and created poetry from this newspaper. Teachers encouraged whole classes to send in poems. Young adults sent in poems. Senior citizens sent in poems.
With that many poems to judge, a half-dozen editors sat in a marker fume-filled office to pick finalists. In the end, a grandmother and an 11-year-old boy won big.
You can too, because we're going to hold our noses and do it all again. Participate in our Newspaper Blackout Poetry Contest, and you could win a $100 Visa gift card or an iPod Nano.
Pick any story from the Sunday, March 28 issue of The Oklahoman. Take a marker and black out lines from the story, leaving only the words you want to remain visible. Those words become your poetry.
Blackout newspaper poetry is the brainchild of Austin Kleon, who lives in Austin, Texas. Kleon served as final judge for last year's contest, and he's stepping up again this year. “If you can't find time for your art, then it must not be important enough for you,” he said, speaking of his passion for blackout poetry.
Kleon has a new book, “Newspaper Blackout,” which comes out next month and is filled with witty examples of this style of poetry.
NIE: Newspaper poetry activities