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Blackout Poetry: Contest Winners

April 2024

Blackout poetry, born from the pages of existing text, transforms words into art by selectively blacking out or highlighting portions to reveal a new message or theme.This creative process challenges conventional notions of writing and encourages imaginative interpretation. Each creation is a testament to the artist's ability to find beauty and meaning in unexpected places, inspiring both the creator and the audience to see the world through a fresh perspective.

The Chambers Library called for submissions and the winning poem was awarded a $500 scholarship. 

By Elena Arellano

By Erica Ross

By Genesis Williams

By Karhol Kamil, Blackout Poetry Submission 2024

Text reads: 

"She would like to be beheaded. Her executioner could be found in the Emperor's dominions, hammering in the courtyard. A beautiful heavy crimson beneath her neck bare to die. She knelt down, her eyes murmuring pity as the executioner took his aim. Then with a single stroke was done." 

By Lana Coomes

By Lillian Kobzdej, Blackout Poetry Submission 2024

Text reads:

"The sun notices her footprints upon the snow. Leaves travel along the wind. Curiosity has suffered the curse of time, immortality grows restless, it hurts to have the trees ripped away from her, everything ends. The sun rises and falls. She recognizes the earth around her, time, creation, and the hungry fear of familiarity."

By Merritt Lane, Blackout Poetry Submission 2024.

Text reads:

"My thought swallowed and lost. Hurried away by fury; revenge endowed me with strength moulded to be calculating when otherwise delirium or death would have been my portion. My first resolution quit my country, which in my adversity, became hateful. My wanderings began cease but with life. I have endured all the hardships which travellers meet. How I hardly know; I stretched my failing limbs and prayed for death. Revenge kept me alive; I dared not die. I wandered many hours round uncertain. As night approached I found myself at the entrance. I approached the tomb which marked their graves. Everything was silent the night, dark, the scene solemn even to an uninterested observer. Spirits of the departed flit around head of the mourner. Deep grief gave way to rage. They were dead, I lived; their murderer lived, to destroy him drag out my weary existence. I kissed the earth and with quivering lips. "By the sacred earth by the shades by the deep and eternal grief I swear; O Night, to pursue the daemon until he or I shall perish. For this purpose I will preserve my life; to execute dear revenge I call on you, spirits of the death, to aid me in my work. Let the cursed and hellish monster feel the despair that now torments me."

By Zoey Leatherman

By Daniel Tarter, Blackout Poetry Submission Winner 2024

Text reads:

"I can not change a piece of my heart to fit into yours."

By Aakankshya Shrestha, Blackout Poetry Submission 2024.

Text reads:

"I gazed with reverence

I sat and copied all the identifying shape that belonged to my museum. I return to my memories my instinct to go back to you always you. Every detail from you can go on forever. To look for you everywhere, not just the obvious sources at signs and at billboards and at all the junk on our packages the instructions on our medicines and the graffiti on our walls. So rich that come spilling out of me like the temper of a society"

By Anjali Poulo, Blackout Poetry Submission 2024

Text reads:

"First Amendment, Second Verse- Hand an apple rolls rebellion in murder the worn eggnog spirit fighting back time. Stole opens speak toward the voice, no sound, his voice, No, 13" 



Oliver Ellington, Archives Specialist



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