What's the difference between Found, Erasure, Blackout and Redacted Poetry?
Updated: Jun 20, 2019
Since it’s growing popularity in recent years thanks to Austin Kleon and other artists; the art of creating poetry from existing text has bore several names: blackout poetry, redacted poetry, found poetry, and erasure poetry. These poetry forms are similar; yet not all the same. Keep reading to understand the difference between these poetic forms and types. If you’re interested in learning more about Redacted Poetry, read my full pick up a copy of my book, Redacted Poetry Journal: Create Blackout Poetry by Destroying the Classics.
What's the difference between blackout, erasure, found, and redacted poetry?
Visually stunning and poetically striking images of poems derived from existing text flood Instagram and Pinterest everyday. Hashtags #BlackoutPoetry, #RedactedPoetry, #FoundPoetry, and #ErasurePoetry; seem to be used interchangeably. However, each of these words is not a synonym for the other. Let's break it down...
Here are the differences and similarities between blackout poetry, redacted poetry, erasure poetry, and found poetry.
First Up, Blackout Poetry and Redacted Poetry. This one’s easy, Blackout Poetry and Redacted Poetry is the same type of poetry. The name used is typically based on the creators preference. Regardless, the creator (writer, poet, artist), takes a piece of text (e.g. page from a book, magazine, or newspaper), and removes text; hence the name “redacted” or “blackout”. The end results when read in sequence is a poem consisting only of the surviving words from the original text. Redacted Poetry is rooted in Found Poetry.
Now for the brother of blackout poetry, Erasure Poetry. Like blackout or redacted poetry, erasure poetry is also a form of found poetry. Erasure poetry is created by erasing words from existing text and framing the result on the page as a poem. The final presentment is where erasure differs from redacted poetry. Erasure poetry typically features the remaining text arranged in lines or stanzas. Whereas redacted poetry is deliberately created by not altering the placement, position, or sequence of words.
Below you will find the definitions of the artistic poetry forms and types mentioned above. Learn more about redacted poetry including it’s origin, influences and creators, and how to create your own blackout poetry by reading the Redacted Poetry Blog Series.
Erasure - a form of found poetry or found object art created by erasing words from an existing text in prose or verse and framing the result on the page as a poem. The results can be allowed to stand in situ or they can be arranged into lines and/or stanzas.
Found poetry - a type of poetry created by taking words, phrases, and sometimes whole passages from other sources and reframing them as poetry (essentially a literary collage). By making changes in spacing, lines, and lines, adding or deleting text, the final found poetry work bears an entirely new meaning; not related to nor plagiarizing the original text.
Blackout Poetry (Redacted Poetry) - stems from found poetry and is characterized by the use of a marker (usually black marker) to existing text (e.g. newspaper, magazine, book, etc.) and redacts words until a blackout or redacted poem is formed.
Learn more about redacted poetry including it’s origin, influences and creators, and show to create your own blackout poetry by following Offbeat Poet on social.
Cheers to creativity!