Blackout poetry - or 'treated texts' - is a way of finding layers of meaning in (or adding them to) existing texts. You might have heard of Tom Phillips' novel 'A Humument', for example. Well - at our workshop with young people from YorkMIND, we started with recent political speeches by politicians talking about young people and the future: Michael Gove, Mhairi Black, Nicky Morgan. Here's what the group found and made. If you want to have a go yourself, the texts we used are here - please send us your efforts!:
On the 23rd of June, after a lot of planning, Things as They Are officially began with a free mini festival for young people age 14 - 25. Young people arrived, made their own name badge necklaces before some entertainment from dancer Lizzy Whynes and poetry from Imogen Godwin. There were mini workshops using collage, poetry and the written word. At the end all these creations were compiled to give a brief look at what it is like to be young in 2017.
Spoken Word at Say Owt Presents...., Nov 2017
Cath Heinemeyer took off from Wallace Stevens' poem 'The Man With The Blue Guitar' to give the 'perplexed professional' point of view on young people's mental health:
A man bent over his guitar A shearsman of sorts. The day was green. They said 'You have a blue guitar, You do not play things as they are.' We want evidence of what you know. We measure you daily as you grow. Please make a list, in black and white, Of worries haunting you at night. We've carefully designed a wall To prop you up. So now stand tall. Through all the clamouring voices you Must hear the future's clarion call. Look straight ahead and concentrate. We cannot always break your fall. Here's a list of guidelines which Should teach you how to bear it all....