Featured image: Untitled by Anika K.

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See what fellow RAL artists and writers created!

August is almost over, and not only does that mean we’re weeks away from kicking off the 2021 Awards on September 1 (more info on that here and here), it also means we get to celebrate the brilliant works created in response to Cece Meserve’s July Start.Write.Now. prompt!

Thank you to everyone who participated in July Start.Write.Now. Whether you emailed in your creation or not, we hope that exploring blackout poetry got your creative juices flowing. We certainly know it did for the artists and writers who emailed in!

Students only had three short weeks to create a piece in response to the prompt, and yet we saw amazingly original ideas shining through the works shared with us. Artists and writers were invited to create something inspired by blackout poetry… and they really knocked us out. Take a look at what your peers created (and who won the gift cards)!

July’s Start.Write.Now Prompt from Cece Meserve

Create something inspired by blackout poetry.

From Cece: I’ve always been a fan of the blackout poem. You take anything with words; a newspaper article, song lyrics, a cook-book recipe, and blackout all the words with a dark marker, except for a carefully chosen few to make a poem. If I get really stuck, it can be a way to jumpstart an original poem or story, and I think it could inspire all kinds of visual art as well!

And our lucky $25 Amazon gift card winners are…

Untitled by Anika K., FL

Thunderstorm at 2AM (and I’m Still Awake) by Gwendolyn S., NY

Artist’s Statement: This piece was inspired by the shape of blackout poetry, which is more free-flowing and relaxed than other forms of writing. The words in this poem are not all left justified, but scattered across the page, like raindrops in a summer thunderstorm.

I Don’t Doubt the Pulpit by Aminah A., CA

Check out the full piece here and see more of Aminah’s work on Instagram @ami.aliu

Artist’s Statement: Upon seeing the prompt, I knew that I wanted to do a blackout poem of work by James Baldwin because his work is truly iconic and continuously encourages the reader to push and redefine boundaries. In this piece, my aim was to maintain Baldwin’s voice while crafting new meaning out of his words and, indeed, blackout poetry is the perfect medium through which to extract new meaning from old words!

Disclaimer: The thoughts, views, and opinions expressed in the above pieces of writing and artwork belong solely to the student author or artist. These do not represent the views of the RAL Scholastic Art & Writing Awards or the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. The Alliance does not have ownership or copyright over the works shared in this post; they belong solely to the student author or artist.

Thanks to everyone who had fun creating and sharing your work with us! Don’t forget to submit your next creation to the 2021 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards when submissions open on September 1!

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