About Found Poetry

What is found poetry?

Found poems come from existing texts, such as newspaper articles, street signs, letters, books, poems.* The person who finds the text presents it in a fresh way by applying some method to the text. In simple examples, line breaks and stanzas are applied. In others, one choose words and phrases and creates something new.

What about copyright?

We encourage poets to read The Center for Media and Social Impact’s Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Poetry.

To avoid violating copyright of engaging in plagiarism, your found poem should “add value through significant imaginative or intellectual transformation,” rather than being nothing more than the “mere exploitation of existing copyrighted material…” And of course you should always take care to cite your source text.

Types of found poetry.

There are many different approaches to crafting a found poem and we encourage you to play with the different techniques. Some of our favorites are ErasuresCut-ups, and the Cento.

Here are some videos to inspire us.