Erasure (Black Out) Poetry


I was introduced to black out poetry in April 2017 by Cynthia, a fourth grade teacher. I have twice presented the idea to the Creative Writing Club at the college where I am an English professor and co-sponsor of the club.

The original, which has star shapes, I created during the club meeting, and I was in the process of simply blacking out the words because I didn't like the shapes. My co-sponsor encouraged me to keep the shapes, so today I made a copy of the original page, kept the original wording, and created a new design.

Black out poetry interests me because it is a type of found poetry. The words are already on the page. The resulting poem, though, often shows what exists in a person's subconscious, so two people with the same page will end up with different poems. I believe that is what I will do the next time I present: use the same poems for everyone.

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