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Blackout Poetry Contest

April 2, 2024

|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 12:00 am on Tuesday, repeating until April 19, 2024

blackout poetry using a page from The Great Gatsby

Tweens & Teens!

April is National Poetry Month! Create your own blackout poetry for a chance to win a gift card! Blackout poetry is taking a written piece of text from a book, newspaper, or magazine and blackout words, in order to create a whole new poem.

  1. Create your own blackout poetry (see Rules for instructions below).
  2. Submit digitally or in person by April 19th to the library.
  3. Vote online from April 22-27 for your favorite poem.
  4. Top 3 winners receive a Starbucks gift card!
  5. Submissions will be made into a zine that can be viewed at the library!

The Rules:

  • One submission per person.
  • Contest open to grades 6-12. Please submit your poem with the contest entry form (available in-person at the library or email stacy.bisgard@librarieshawaii.org for more info.
  • Take a page of text from the basket in the YA room or use one of your own. Do not use a library book!
  • Skim your page of words. Don’t read carefully, as the point is just to grab an idea from the words, not take them in. Find a word, phrase, or general theme that you like.
  • Scan the text and lightly circle the words or phrases you might want to use. Cross out words you don’t want. If you need a few connecting words (like “a”, “the”, “it”, etc.), dive back in and see if you can find them between the words you want to connect.
  • Go back through your poem and boldly box the words you are keeping with pen, sharpie, dark pencil, etc. Erase any circles around words you don’t want.
  • Read through your final poem. Sketch in a few images or symbols on your page that relate to the theme of your poem. Now it’s time to start blackening. Using a sharpie, marker, pen, or pencil, black out everything that is NOT a word in your poem or one of your own sketches.

Submit your poem digitally to stacy.bisgard@librarieshawaii.org with the contest entry form OR drop off in person at Kailua-Kona Public Library.

Mahalo to Friends of the Libraries, Kona (F.O.L.K.) for sponsoring this program!

Anyone who requires an auxiliary aid or service for effective communication, or a modification of policies or procedures to participate in a program, service, or activity should contact library staff as soon as possible. Advance requests 48 hours or more before the event are encouraged, but not required. For a schedule of events, go to librarieshawaii.org/events.


April 2, 2024
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Stacy Bisgard
(808) 327-4327



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Hawaii – Kailua-Kona
75-138 Hualalai Rd
Kailua-Kona, HI 96740 United States
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In State observance of the King Kamehameha I Day holiday, all public libraries will be closed on Tuesday, June 11, 2024.

In State observance of the Memorial Day holiday, all public libraries will be closed May 25 to 27, 2024.