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 news—so
many speeches, global warming, sports, war etc.
Send in your Found Poetry to:
Subject Line: Found Poem Contest + Author Name + Title +
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.
Klesko and John Daleiden will announce the winners December
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
4. Each writer
may enter two poems, however, each entry must be in a
genre: free verse, villanelle, sestina, etheree, fibonacci to
name a few genre as
examples; any genre is acceptable.
5. Entry must be
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
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
9. Send entry
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
webmaster for Sketchbook
Definitions of Found Poetry
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.
An example of found
poetry appeared in William Whewell's "An Elementary Treatise on
Hence no force,
can stretch a cord, however fine,
into a horizontal line
which is accurately straight.
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":
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
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).
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".
In July 2009, US talkshow host
Conan O'Brien twice asked actor
William Shatner to deliver
the written words of former Alaskan Governor and
Sarah Palin in the style of beat
poetry. Shatner performed Palin's Farewell Speech  on July
27, 2009, and several of her "Tweets"  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...
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 , debuted in 2011. The inaugural issue featured
centos and poems taken from
Marcel Duchamp paintings,
Wonder Woman comics and more.
1. Whewell, William.
An Elementary Treatise on Mechanics,
page 44. Cambridge (England), 1819.
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
The Tonight Show With Conan O'Brien
The Tonight Show With Conan O'Brien
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
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:
NEW WORKS “REMIXED”
FROM OTHER MATERIAL: ALLUSION, PASTICHE, CENTOS, ERASURE, USE OF
“FOUND” MATERIAL, POETRY-GENERATING SOFTWARE
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.
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)
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
The poet should provide
attribution in a conventionally appropriate form unless it
would be truly impractical or artistically inappropriate to
© 2011 The Found Poetry