Zine Review: Newspaper Blackout Poetry

Newspaper Blackout Poetry
Wolfram-J VK

Newspaper Blackout Poetry is an A5 black and white zine about what blackout poetry is and how it works.

If you’re not familiar, blackout poetry is the process of using pieces of text that already exist and blacking out everything except chosen key words, turning that piece of text into something new.

Newspaper Blackout Poetry opens with a bit of history about blackout poetry and how it’s actually an older process than you probably think. From there, we dive into various examples.

Blackout poetry is probably the poetic space I feel most comfortable in, so I was fairly sure I was going to enjoy this zine anyway. However, this zine went above expectations.

The first few examples are of ‘traditional’ blackout poetry with lines of text blacked out. The blackout didn’t quite completely obscure the text beneath. While that may have been an annoyance in others’ eyes, it made it all the more interesting for me. I liked comparing how I would have done it to how it was done for the zine.

The last two examples are very interesting. They take blackout poetry and turn it into visual as well as literary art. They add on lines, dashes, and small sketches to create something that’s pleasing to look at as a whole as well as at the smaller details.

The second half of the zine is made up of a ‘now it’s your turn’ section with pieces of text ripe for turning into blackout poetry. I always feel a little weird about zines that encourage you to write and otherwise change them, but that doesn’t make me love the idea any less.

My one nitpick is a lack of contact details, but you do at least have Wolfram’s name on the back to go on.

All up, I think this is a fun zine and it would be a great start for anyone wanting to dive in.

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