Writer’s block getting you down? Sat before an empty page that refuses to fill itself? Writing mojo completely vanished? Look no further- Dadaism is the answer!

‘But what is Dadaism?!’ I hear you cry…I thought you’d never ask!


*Ahem* (Puts on best, informative, and otherwise pretentious posh pompous voice)…

‘Originally a movement which began in 1916 in Switzerland, Dadaism is a politically charged sweep against capitalism, which sought to remove the artist from the work. In other words, it rejected prevailing standards in all forms of art, in order that new meaning could be explored.  It broke traditional conventions of analysing conveyed meanings in painting, poetry and prose, and explored the concept of ‘the death of the author’, whereby the audience would draw their own conclusions from various art forms, regardless of the original message that the artist or author was attempting to express.’


Dadaism therefore is a technique which is a perfect cure for the muse-crippling effects of writer’s block, and something which we recently put on trial at my recent Storyslingers writer’s group meeting. Taking randomly placed words and phrases, you can create totally new pieces of work, which instigate brand new meanings.


The Recipe for The Perfect Dada;

1.)    Photocopy a page of a book

2.)     Cut up all the words and phrases, (whether the fragments are single words or a couple of words together- it’s up to you.)

3.)     Once you have done this, jumble them all up (it is quite effective  to use a mixing bowl to do this, depending on how many word clippings you have.)

4.)    Now pick out a handful of words, and then re-arrange them in front of you, in the order in which you initially select them, regardless of whether or not the words make sense in that order.

5.)    You have now created your first dada poem!

6.)    (Alternatively at the word selection stage, if the concept of a nonsensical dada poem is a little un-nerving, you can create a half dada poem by instinctively selecting the words and phrases that you want to make your poem. The beauty of this process is that even if the words in a certain order don’t make logical sense, they always seem to make perfect artistic sense!)

7.)    You may or may not wish to use your own punctuation, where there will often be a lack surrounding your chosen words- it depends how dada-esq you wish your poem to be.


Using the recipe for the perfect dada poem above, here are several of my own creations that were made using this method;


Drink deep

From my eyes

And with that






Respectable Fedora Hat


Caused this misery,

I kneel,


Respectable Fedora Hat

Torments me.




Pseudonym of the Homeless.

On the grass


Chairman of the board of

Ministers of Vengeance,

Eternal grief

Had begun.




The first


The Other a

Reddish Night


And there you have it- you have now opened the Pandora’s Box of artistic creation.

Well dear readers and writers, what are you waiting for?! Go forth and toy with the restrictions of convention and create a new surge of Dadaism!