Today I want to introduce you to Austin Kleon, a super cool writer/cartoonist/web designer in Texas who has learned how to get people to read the newspaper again. Granted, it is by crossing words out with a black Sharpie, but I like it just the same. His Newspaper Blackout Poems have been featured on NPR's Morning Edition, Toronto's National Post and in various corners of the blogosphere. I discovered him this morning thanks to Lauren at Double Takes (really, thanks!).
As someone who works for a newspaper, I love that Austin has gone all Michelangelo and created inspired (or alternatively, funny) word-art out of the not-so-poetic stories that we reporters write to fill a broadsheet. By simply crossing out the words he doesn't need-- OK, it might not be that simple!-- Austin is able to find the art hidden within, like a sculptor chipping away at stone. Like I said, flippin' cool.
Here's one blackout poem I particularly connected to:
A collection of Austin's poems are in the process of being turned into a HarperCollins book, which is due to be released in February of next year. Until then, you can see some of the cut poems on his website. Like this one, my second fave.
Can't wait for the book!
Images via Austin Kleon