How to Create Collage Poetry

WARNING:  Collage poetry can be quite messy, and requires space. Collage poetry can also be addictive.

Tools required:
Paper/cardboard for background
Double-sided tape/Glue
Words – sourced from magazines, newspapers etc.

There are a couple of different approaches to collage poetry and these can be swapped depending on your mood or aim in creating a collage poem.

  • create a poem based on the words available to you 
  • scatter the words over the table, and allow the poem to emerge from the words.  
  • Consider the visual layout of the poem
  • Collage poetry is not just about the text but about how the poem looks on the page.
  • Collect words along a similar theme and then use to create a poem.
  •  E.g ‘I said No’ – variations of the word ‘no’ were collected for weeks before the poem was created.

  • Pregnant and paranoid just emerged when the word ‘pregnant’ kept showing up in my word collection.

  • Construct your poem according to set visual parameters 
  • e.g The poem must be all black text.
  • All red text.


  • Use text from only one source e.g one magazine, a pamphlet, a brochure.


  •  Have several poems on the go at the same time. If word doesn’t fit one poem, it may fit another.
  • Play with the word order. 
  • Look for unusual word combinations
  • Rearrange the layout a couple of times before you start committing the word to the background. 
  • Use good, strong, visual text
  • Think about how it will reproduce if you photocopy it. 
  • Consider including images as part of your poem. 
Have fun!