How to Write an Erasure (Blackout) Poem

How to Write an Erasure (Blackout) Poem


Well, it’s been a long time coming but I’m blogging about it at last. Hard not to when “How to Write an Erasure Poem” made the top three in my top ten popular blog posts for three years running.

So as a refresher, what is an erasure poem? It’s a type of poetic form where the poet/writer erases the words of a text. Leaving a blank space between the words left behind, to create a new poem. What I did and shared in my blog post before, is a little different but still a form of erasure poetry.

To create the poem, I took the words from a previous text and rearranged them to form a new poem or prose. Through every spacing, line and stanza I created a new poem. Completely reframed and different from the original text. And with a new meaning from the original text. This type of poetic form is found poetry.

The blackout poem stems from found poetry. And similar to erasure poetry because what is done to the text. The difference is the poet/writer uses a black marker to blackout words. To redact words. Leaving behind words and framing a new poem in a visually compelling form. Which is why the blackout poem, also called a redacted poem, is a sort of visual poem.

There are many variations of erasure poetry. Erin Dorney shares examples of six styles of erasure poems on Trish Hopkinson’s blog. Erasure poetry has grown in popularity over the years. And gained new political purpose since 2017 with Niina Pollari’s poem “Form N-400 Erasures.”

You can find a plethora of erasure poetry on social media sites. Sites where visual content is essential and important. For example, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter. Visit these platforms or do a Google search. Type erasure poetry, blackout poetry and found poetry and see what’s out there.


Here are some erasure blackout poem I found and liked on Pinterest.:



Here’s my first attempt at an erasure blackout poem. Using an article from the Post Star.:

1st attempt blackout poem 2.0


Want to give a try creating a blackout poem? Have a favorite erasure poem or poet? Have a favorite poetic form? Prefer the haiku, sonnet, limerick, etc.? Why?


jacob nordby blessed are the...
Credit image: leilaworldblog


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