Does a good poem have to take itself seriously?
Many poets today suffer from “humor anxiety”—the fear that trying to be funny will damage their reputations. But the success of poets like Billy Collins and Tony Hoagland provides ample evidence that poems can be both funny AND serious. In this workshop, we will examine what makes us laugh, the difference between “light verse” and humorous poetry, and the role that wit, the comic, and the absurd play in American poetry. We will also take a closer look at the work of some contemporary poets who have used humor effectively to broaden their poems’ appeal.
Live video conference: This workshop will be held via our online video conferencing platform, Zoom. You can view brief tutorials on using the platform here. On the start date or the day before, participants will receive an email with login info (please check your spam if you don’t see it).
In this workshop you’ll learn:
- What qualifies as “light verse”
- Three theories about what makes people laugh
- Poets who are known for their humor and what makes their poems funny
- Ten ways to inject humor into an otherwise serious poem.”
- No additional time required outside of class.
- All reading materials will be provided.
Who should take this workshop?
- This workshop is designed for poets who would like to inject more humor in their work.
If you need an accommodation for this workshop, please contact us at email@example.com. We will attempt to fulfill all requests, but advance notice is necessary to arrange for some accessibility services.