August Writing Challenge 3: Censorship Poem

3-boklmphoto by boklm

We are challenging you to write your own mini anthology of poems this August! To help you, every two days poet Jon Stone will set a new challenge on the Young Poets Network site to spark off a new poem.


Challenge 3: Censorship poem.

Make a poem by blacking out parts of a page of text.


Jon’s example of a Censorship Poem:

Censorship Poem Jon Stone



consider the relic
devotional knick-knack
My change of heart
had spoken:

a small box out of a locked cabinet
our monastery possessed
this cloister
this little casket

I am not able to
break the spell
cause ruin  lapse into
wage   war
in great astonishment.

I want to express some
great consideration
candidly, friend

the only existing record
in that cabinet
is well known to you

all earthly things
wandered in the desert
devoted      to
the desert

that Saint
in the torn jacket
It was the devil dressed in
perturbed for a moment by this imposition.

Submitting your poem

Jon has now chosen his favourite responses to the Censorship challenge, but you can still use his workshop to spark a new poem and send to one of the opportunities on our Poetry Opportunities Page! Have a read of these Censorship poems for inspiration:

Maiden by Natasha Keary

Darkness by Angelique Cridland

E.M.I.T. by Lauren Clare Malthas

The Outsider in the Sun by Jake Reynolds


Jon Stone

Jon Stone was born in Derbyand currently lives in Whitechapel, London. He is co-creator of the multi-format arts journal Fuselit and micro-anthology publishers Sidekick Books. He won a Society of Authors Eric Gregory Award in 2012 and his collection, School of Forgery (Salt, 2012) is a Poetry Book Society Summer Recommendation. He works as a court transcript editor

Published August, 2012

11 thoughts on “August Writing Challenge 3: Censorship Poem

    1. Hi Sarah, you can use any page of text. It might be fun to do two poems, one from a fiction book and one from a factual book, and to compare the results.

    1. Hi lauren, you don’t have to send the original text just then poem you create during the challenge. Might be fun to let us know where the page of text came from though, but not essential.

  1. Are we allowed to change some of the words on the page? For example, if the book had a verb like ‘walk’, could we change it to ‘walked’ to fit in with the rest of our poem?

    1. Hi Isobel, I think the sprit of the challenge is to have a go at creating at least one version where you only use fragments from the original text. But then you can always make another version afterwards where you tweak things here and there. Why not submit both versions
      to Jon and explain in the email that one follows the challenge strictly and the other is more fluid.

  2. have you got any old poems that I could put on my poem forum, you could put a link to your site and talk about your cometitions?

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