Crafting Poetry with Pride

As some of you may know, the bid team for Glasgow in 2024 chose Silk & Steel: A Queer Speculative Adventure Anthology for an informal book club @Balticon on Sat May 29th. I really loved these stories! One that particularly moved me was “The Scholar of the Bamboo Flute” by Aliette de Bodard.

It’s a love story set in 19th Century Vietnam, featuring musical duelling and dragons. I was feeling inspired to do something crafty after reading it, and decided to take a page from it for some blackout/erasure poetry.

The idea is to circle a few words that grab you, and blackout the rest (usually with a black marker). What you’re left with is a brand new, condensed story. Since its Pride, I decided to use pride coloured markers:The image shows sheet music over the edge of a text document where large sections of the text have been obscured using a rainbow of coloured pens.

You could read through the marker, so I then covered up everything but my chosen words with some old sheet music:

The image shows final price of poetry constructed of text and sheet music. The unobscured text reads: Dragon Princess. iridescent, breathtaking desire transfixing her.

I felt that the musical notes tied in nicely with the theme of the story but I needed a dragon! So I found some old origami paper and a pattern here – Oragami Dragon.

Image shows an origami dragon made out of orange paper with colourful patterns on it in yellow, white and purple

I’m going to be honest – I did not find the pattern ‘simple’… in fact I’m embarrassed to admit how long it took me, but I was happy with the result! I used a hot glue gun to affix it in place and added some origami lotus flowers.

The image shows component pieces of the sheet music and poetry, origami flowers and dragon, and small paper flowers in multiple colours.

At this point I was pretty happy with the overall presentation, but I decided to add a few pride coloured flowers:

Image shows a final price of poetry constructed of text, sheet music, an origami dragon, flowers in red, orange, green and blue, and origami flowers. The unobscured text reads: Dragon Princess. iridescent, breathtaking desire transfixing her.

So that’s my attempt at blackout poetry art! What do you think? Would love to see what other people come up with so if you are making something please share! Our twitter handle is @GlasgowIn2024


This article was brought to you by Caoileann O’Mahony, Craft Team in Promotions Glasgow in 2024.

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