Finders Keepers: Altered


This post is part of a weekly column highlighting found poetry related news and resources. If you know of found poetry related news, resources or events that should be featured here, please email News & Resources Editor Martin Elwell.

Altered Books

ModBookMy wife and I spent the past weekend in Bar Harbor, ME for our third anniversary. After admiring the artwork on the wall in our room at the B&B, pictured to the right, I came across a Pinterest page for “altered books.” I’ve always enjoyed erasure poetry that takes the erasing beyond the removal of words and into the creation of visual art. Modified books go one step further, creating an entirely new piece of art from various components of the physical book or the entire book itself. The three-dimensional and/or multimedia results are pretty cool.

Text Festival

TextFestAs a fan of most things German, I love a good fest. While you do need to be in Europe to attend the Text Festival, you don’t have to go all the way to Germany. The Text Festival in Bury, England (near Manchester) “is an internationally recognized event investigating contemporary language art (poetry, text art, sound and media text, live art). The fourth manifestation of the Text Festival opened on May 2nd, and it will run into July 2014. Even if you can’t make it all the way to the U.K., check out the Text Festival website for some interesting reading and images of some of the art featured at the festival.

Text Mechanic

TextMechHave you ever felt like your text could use a tune up? Try running it through the Text Mechanic. With tools like the “Random Line Picker,” the “Line Combination Generator,” and the “Merge Text (Line by Line)” tool, you’ll either be off to the races or heading straight to the junk yard. Take your chances here.

Encode Your Poem

Have you ever written your poem in code? Take a look at’s Substitution Cipher. It’s a quick bit of code to help you render your poem or text in a new form. I took a famous poem and rendered it using the “Dancing Men” method of encoding (think Sherlock Holmes). If you can decode the poem, post the title and author in the comments below. Perhaps I’ve left a clue or two somewhere as well.


1 Comment

  • May 15, 2014

    Kristina McDonald

    It’s the “The Red Wheelbarrow” by William Carlos Williams!