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Newspaper blackout poetry contest winners announced by The Oklahoman

Oklahoma City newspaper announces Blackout Poetry Contest winners, as judged by an advocate of the concept, Austin Kleon.

BY YVETTE WALKER Published: May 16, 2010
Angela Lister, of Oklahoma City, and Haydn Kirkpatrick, of Edmond, have won this year’s second annual Newspaper Blackout Poetry contest.

The winners and runners-up will be featured in an upcoming video on reciting their poem set to music by a local band. Call it a "blackout poetry slam.”

Lister, 54, won a $100 gift card in the adult category for her description of a budding romance, and Kirkpatrick, 13, won in the youth category for a poem about how good teaching "catches fire.” Kirkpatrick won an iPod Nano. Runners-up will receive T-shirts or hats from The Oklahoman.

The winning entries, according to Austin Kleon, who popularized the contest concept, alter the original article from which they are created, taking the subject matter and changing it into a completely different and compelling message.

First place, adult Angela Lister, 54, Oklahoma City


They’ll meet tonight

Both have rebounded from a break

Both must avoid a letdown

They’ve struggled

But he came back for her hand

Kleon’s comments: "The best blackout poems completely transform the original article — this author took an article about basketball and repurposed words like ‘rebounded’ and ‘break’ into a love poem. I love the repetition of the word ‘Both’ to establish a kind of rhythm, and I love the way the poem tells a little story. Good stuff.”

First place, youth (younger than 21) Haydn Kirkpatrick, 13, Edmond


The best teaching

Catches fire

Always happy to oblige in a lesson

For showing the way

An extremely intelligent trick

An excellent educational tool

A mixed breed

A part of the fire for years

Kleon’s comments: "Again, when it comes to blackout poems, it’s all about the transformation.


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