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National Poetry Month – Austin Kleon

It’s the twenty-fifth year of National Poetry Month. We have been celebrating during the week with daily posts from NCTE Verse. Let the celebrations continue on the weekend!

Today we are looking at the work of Austin Kleon, who describes himself as “a writer who draws.” He launched his writing career by creating blackout poetry when he was suffering from a case of writer’s block after college. Learn more about Kleon’s journey into poetry in this PBS News Hour video, Texas Poet Twists Newspaper into Prose, which could also be used as an class introduction to him. Students will love exploring his website, searching for blackout poetry on Tumblr, or following Kleon on Twitter or Instagram.

Invite students to watch this video from Austin Kleon’s Tumblr page on How To Make a Blackout Poem. Ask students to select a page from a book that has fallen apart and grab black markers, then watch the students create.
Learn more about about “Taking Blackout Poetry to the Next Level” from NCTE member JM Farkas.

Many thanks to Susan Barber for introducing me to the work of Austin Kleon!

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