I’m so thrilled to have the opportunity to partner with Tarcher Perigee to help promote Tyler Knott Gregson‘s latest book Miracle In The Mundane. I have loved Tyler’s work since I first stumbled across his iconic typewriter series and was incredibly excited for the release of his latest work.
Miracle In The Mundane offers something a little bit different. Still filled with Tyler’s signature style of poetry, in this volume each poem is accompanied by a challenge: a way to take the message of the poem out of the pages and into your life. I love it! As this isn’t a book to read all the way through and write up a review of, I’ve decided to do something a little bit different. I’m going to write up some of my responses to the challenges and share them her in my own #mundanemiracle mini series before doing a review.
This is the third post in the series and is a response to the ‘chapter’ choice: the enemy of creativity? – I hope you like it.
Reducing the many down to the few and, in the process, simplifying and beginning again.Tyler Knott Gregson – Miracle In The Mundane
In this chapter of Miracle In The Mundane, Tyler Knott Gregson talks about the overwhelming choice we are faced with when we come to write. He specifies that, for those of us attempting to wield the English language, there are a quarter of a million words for us to choose from. That is a lot of words. And just like sometimes when we go to the supermarket to buy, let’s say, toothpaste only find ourselves faced with an entire aisle of tubes promising different things, that choice can be daunting and we sort of wish there was less to choose from.
Herein lies the beauty and appeal of blackout poetry.
Instead of being faced with the entirety of the English language, you start with a page of words already chosen for you. You are limited to using those words and those words only. In a one of those strange twists of life, this restriction is actually freeing. And the challenge of it stretches your creativity, opening up new modes of expression.
So go scour your bookshelves or a second hand bookshop for those neglected, falling-apart-at-the-spine volumes. Pick a page at random, tear it out, grab a black marker and see what poetry waits in the words.
I used a sampler of Bridget Collins’ The Binding for this exercise. Here’s what I can up with:
break the pain
smoke in the dark
you want to know
If you decide to have a go at this exercise and share your blackout poetry somewhere online, leave me a link in the comments so I can check it out.