Inklight x Healing Collective

Olivia reviews Inklight’s blackout poetry night.

On Tuesday, Inklight in collaboration with the Healing Collective held a “Blackout Poetry Night” or day, rather, as the event took place mid-afternoon. In one of the larger Union society rooms, about twenty students gathered to flex their creative muscles through the art of blackout poetry. Blackout poetry is a form of poetry wherein the author takes a page of a book, newspaper, or some other piece of text and blacks out words until they are left with a poem of their own. Blackout poetry celebrates the creativity of its author, allowing them to repurpose someone else’s writing to create something entirely new.

Source: pexels

The session began with traditional blackout poetry. I took a page from Cinderella and began marking out words and tried to piece together a coherent poem. After a few minutes of dabbling with the poetry, attendees were invited to read their pieces aloud. While mine may not have been the best, others created interesting and introspective pieces. All those brave enough to share their works were met with snaps or claps, making the environment welcoming and comforting as the Inklight and Healing Collective crews encouraged everyone to share without fear of being ridiculed or judged for their work.

Following the blackout poetry, we were given writing prompts to engage with such as “write a letter to your ancestor” or “describe a moment in time.” These prompts allowed everyone to relax into their writing without the pressure of sharing or being profound. A few students did share their pieces, though, all of which were entertaining or insightful, inspiring myself and I’m sure others as we moved from prompt to prompt. The prompts made me especially relax as my blackout poetry was not my proudest work, but the “stream of consciousness” prompt allowed me to let go and embrace the healing side of the event. The prompts carried us through almost the end of the session when we finished with a bit more blackout poetry, bringing the event full circle. 

Source: Flickr

While the event was small and casual, it was very welcoming. Everyone was able to go around introducing themselves, and the space provided an easygoing atmosphere. Blackout Poetry Night was the perfect kickoff to the week back from Independent Learning Week, letting all attendees forget their impending deadlines for a moment to focus on the present and allow themselves to ruminate on their writing. With chit-chat, laughing, writing, and listening, Blackout Poetry Night was leisurely yet encouraged active participation, making the event enjoyable. Many thanks to Inklight and the Healing Collective for providing a comfortable space for students to explore their creativity and unwind through writing!



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