A Memoir in Blackout Poetry

I began experimenting seriously with blackout poetry in 2016, using only articles that appear in The Observer Magazine. It soon became clear to me that I was attempting to find myself in the pages. This was a search and scan for identity and meaning. Both in the words I selected to keep as my story, and in that visual sense of what was ‘blacked out’. So there is always an awareness of what is hidden, sitting beneath the blankness, just out of sight. Both here and not here. Could I write my memoir this way?

It seemed that I could. As I mined the pages of the magazine, selecting from the words, I somehow uncovered a version of me. See the results in the book below.

A Memoir in Blackout Poetry includes my introductory essay to the project, “An exposition” (written in April 2021) and 75 poems found within issues of The Observer Magazine printed between April 2016 and January 2018. Blackout images appear side by side with the written poem as it might appear on a traditional page.

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