What is “Found Poetry”?

A major component of my new work is “Found Poetry”. Never heard of it? Read on!

If you’ve ever seen fridge magnets with words or letters on them, intended to be re-arranged into words and sentences, that’s more or less what found poetry is. The difference is, the source material isn’t magnets, but printed text, such as books, magazines, newspapers … pretty much anything will work.

To create found poetry, you take any piece of text and start scanning for interesting words or phrases. Cut them out, re-arrange them into a new order, and voila! – you’ve created found poetry. It can be long or short, profound or silly, meaningful or abstract … it’s completely up to you. Oh, and despite the name, there’s absolutely no requirement for it to rhyme. In fact, most don’t.

I take my found poetry and add illustration to it. In the same way as writers use prompts to generate writing, I use found poetry to generate ideas for paintings. I find it enormously fun and also mysterious, because I literally don’t know why my next painting will be about until I’ve created the poem. It keeps things fresh  and also challenges me, because my idea for an illustration may well involve drawing or painting something I’ve never done before.

If you have a go at creating some found poetry yourself, let me know. I’d love to see what you created!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.