Blackout poetry

Recently, the 11th grade English class, taught by Ms. Trautmann, has been studying poetry.

A subtopic of this multifaceted topic is “Blackout Poetry” which we took a closer look at.


What is “Blackout Poetry”?

Author Austin Kleon has popularized Blackout Poetry with his Newspaper Blackout Book.

Ms. Trautmann introduced Blackout Poetry to us as an ingenious way of creating poetry yourself.

It is about creating something new from something that has already been produced by someone else.


How to create your own “Blackout Poem”:

The only thing you need to create your very own poem is a written piece of text from a book, newspaper or magazine and a few pens.

We worked with William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, A Streetcar named Desire by Tennessee Williams and The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas.

Now there are 3 steps which each one of us followed in order to produce our own piece of literature.



You skim the text and look out for an eye-catching word that will guide the direction of your poem.



Read the full text and search for words or phrases that might relate to your eye-catching word.



Make your final decisions and black out the rest of your text!

Your poem can consist of single words or it can be read like a story, that`s your artistic freedom!


Another option, to make your Blackout Poem even more special, is adding patterns, designs or drawings to the areas that you are “redacting” which relate to your poem, instead of just blacking out the parts of the text which you are not going to use.

This way your piece of art would also support the message of your poem.


Personally, I find it fascinating to see that the words you chose make a whole new message out of the original text excerpt.

What was also fun to see is how different all our poems turned out, even if we started with the identical text excerpt.


Making a Blackout Poem teaches you to look closely at words and play with language and it can combine learning and fun.


Anna Hauschildt, L-Kurs Englisch Trautmann


(Die Arbeitsergebnisse könnt ihr hier einsehen.)


von Jochen Stief, 10. Januar 2022
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