Found Poetry Contest Announcement



Found Poem  Contest


Just for fun, let's have a Found Poetry Contest!  This contest is inspired by Neal Whitman's poem, "Sheriff's Log", in the current Sketchbook.  This poem got me to thinking about recent topics in the newsso many speeches, global warming, sports, war etc.

Send in your Found Poetry to:
Subject Line: Found Poem Contest + Author Name + Title + Genre

Deadline will be Midnight Thursday, December 1, 2011.

First Place Prize: Fifty US Dollars ~ $50.00

Second Place : Twenty-Five US Dollars ~ $25.00

Just a little something to bring in the New Year: The price of a dinner, or a cup of coffee at Starbucks!

All poems will be Published in the December 31, 2011 Little Black Book.

Editors Karina Klesko and John Daleiden will announce the winners December 31, 2011.

Contest Rules

1. Entry must be the work of one writer.

2. Entry may be written in any genre; include the genre name with   
    the submission. Please send only one poem per e-mail. If you
    are submitting a second poem, send it in a second e-mail.

3. Entry may contain no more than twenty-five lines; this includes
    spaces between verses if more than one verse is included in the

4. Each writer may enter two poems, however, each entry must be in a different
    genre: free verse, villanelle, sestina, etheree, fibonacci to name a few genre as  
    examples; any genre is acceptable.

5. Entry must be titled.

6. Entry must contain no profanity and / or unsavory language.

7. Entries must comply with the definition of Found Poetry listed

8. Each entry must include a statement identifying the source and or
    sources of the original text of the Found Poem.  Sources may
    include: audio, print, web based resources as well as sources described in the
    definitions below.  Please be specific. Explain, generally how you have altered
    the original text of your Found Poem. The editors may want to include
    some or all of your explanation. For examples of this process see the work
    published in The Found Poetry Review.

9. Send entry to:

10. Submission Deadline will be Midnight Thursday, December 1, 2011.

11. First Place Prize $50.00 US; Second Place Prize ~ $ 25.00. The 
     decision of the judges is final.  All Entries will be published in the 
     December 31, 2011 Little Black Book.

We look forward to reading your Found Poem submissions!

Karina Klesko Poetrywriting - dot - org Sketchbook Administrator

John Daleiden, webmaster for Sketchbook


Two Definitions of Found Poetry


Found Poetry:   
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Found poetry is a type of poetry created by taking words, phrases, and sometimes whole passages from other sources and reframing them as poetry by making changes in spacing and/or lines (and consequently meaning), or by altering the text by additions and/or deletions. The resulting poem can be defined as either treated: changed in a profound and systematic manner; or untreated: virtually unchanged from the order, syntax and meaning of the original.

Examples from Wikipedia

Definition 1

An example of found poetry appeared in William Whewell's "An Elementary Treatise on Mechanics":[1]

Hence no force, however great,
can stretch a cord, however fine,
into a horizontal line
which is accurately straight.

In 2003, Slate writer Hart Seely found poetry in the speeches and news briefings of Donald Rumsfeld. In a transcript of a Department of Defense news briefing from February 12, 2002, Rumsfeld ruminated on "The Unknown":[2]

As we know,
There are known knowns.
There are things we know we know
We also know
There are known unknowns.
That is to say
We know there are some things
We do not know.
But there are also unknown unknowns,
The ones we don't know
We don't know.

Hart Seely published Rumsfeld's poetry in the book, Pieces of Intelligence: The Existential Poetry of Donald H. Rumsfeld (2003). American composer Phil Kline  set Rumsfeld's lyrics to music in "Rumsfeld's Songs", a song cycle released on Zippo Songs (2004). Pianist Bryant Kong also used Rumsfeld's lyrics on his release "Poetry of Donald Rumsfeld".[3]

In July 2009, US talkshow host
Conan O'Brien twice asked actor William Shatner  to deliver the written words of former Alaskan Governor and Vice-Presidential nominee Sarah Palin in the style of beat poetry. Shatner performed Palin's Farewell Speech [4] on July 27, 2009, and several of her "Tweets" [5] on 29 July, 2009, during The Tonight Show With Conan O'Brien. Shatner was supported by a bongo player and double-bassist.

Another well known example of a public figure's speech being converted into found poetry was the baseball play calls of Phil Rizzuto. Rizzuto was the announcer for the New York Yankees baseball team for some 40 years, and some of his at times rambling or disjointed commentary was collected and reformatted by Hart Seely and Tom Peyer into a collection of Rizzuto's found poetry. An example is Rizzuto's thoughts on the death of Yankees catcher Thurmon Munson in an airplane crash:

"The Man in the Moon"

The Yankees have had a traumatic four days.
Actually five days.
That terrible crash with Thurman Munson.
To go through all that agony,
And then today,
You and I along with the rest of the team
Flew to Canton for the services,
And the family...
Very upset.
You know, it might,
It might sound a little corny.
But we have the most beautiful full moon tonight.
And the crowd,
Enjoying whatever is going on right now.
They say it might sound corny,
But to me it's like some kind of a,
Like an omen.
Both the moon and Thurman Munson,
Both ascending up into heaven.
I just can't get it out of my mind.
I just saw the full moon,
And it just reminded me of Thurman Munson,
And that's it.

A quarterly online literary journal devoted to found poetry, The Found Poetry Review [6], debuted in 2011. The inaugural issue featured traditional centos and poems taken from textbooks, Marcel Duchamp paintings, Wikipedia articles, Wonder Woman comics and more.


1. Whewell, William. An Elementary Treatise on Mechanics, page 44. Cambridge (England), 1819.
2. The Poetry of D.H. Rumsfeld, Hart Seely, Slate Magazine, 2 April 2003
Tsioulcas, Anastasia (2004-07-31). "Music". Billboard (Nielsen Business Media, Inc.) 116 (31): 14. ISSN 0006-2510.
4. The Tonight Show With Conan O'Brien
5. The Tonight Show With Conan O'Brien

Definition 2

Definition information from The Found Poetry Review


Found poems take existing texts and refashion them, reorder them, and present them as poems. The literary equivalent of a collage, found poetry is often made from newspaper articles, street signs, graffiti, speeches, letters, or even other poems.

Examples of Found Poetry

For a few examples of found poetry, check out the following sources:

Found Poetry and Fair Use Standards

The editors do not claim copyright on any source material incorporated into the poems published on this site. We believe that publishing found poetry falls under Fair Use standards, and aim to adhere to the Center for Social Media’s “Code of Best Practices for Fair Use in Poetry,” which contains the following guidelines for found poetry:


DESCRIPTION: What is now called remixing is a contemporary version of allusion or pastiche and has long been an important part of poetic practice. In general, it takes existing poetry (or literary prose) as its point of reference. In some cases, however, the stuff of poetic remix may come from other sources, including (but not limited to) advertising copy and ephemeral journalism. Members of the poetry community also recognize that technology has extended the range of techniques by which language from a range of sources may be reprocessed as new creative work.

PRINCIPLE: Under fair use, a poet may make use of quotations from existing poetry, literary prose, and non-literary material, if these quotations are re-presented in poetic forms that add value through significant imaginative or intellectual transformation, whether direct or (as in the case of poetry-generating software) indirect.


  • Mere exploitation of existing copyrighted material, including uses that are solely “decorative” or “entertaining,” should be avoided.
  • Likewise, the mere application of computer technology does not, in itself, render quotation or re-use of an existing poem fair.
  • If recognizable in the final product, quotations should be brief in relation to their sources, unless there is an articulable rationale for more extensive quotation.
  • The poet should provide attribution in a conventionally appropriate form unless it would be truly impractical or artistically inappropriate to do so.

2011 The Found Poetry Review.









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