Exploring the Comedic—Poetry Writing with Jeff Alessandrelli

The best poems are those that haunt and pierce, that expose, inter and instruct. But simultaneously they’re often also funny, full of mirth. In this one day-intensive, we’ll focus on writing funny poems, ones aware of their own frivolity and playfulness. At the same time, however, we’ll also be taking into account Samuel Beckett’s famous statement that “Nothing is funnier than unhappiness… Yes, yes, it’s the most comical thing in the world.” Dark comedy is also, of course, a particularly poignant brand of humor, and in our class we’ll be taking Beckett’s statement into account. Using works by poets such as Anne Carson and Russell Edson, James Tate and Sarah Manguso, not to mention Emily Dickinson and Robert Frost, “Exploring the Comedic—Poetry Writing” will activate the comedic element in your poetry—even if, at this point, you’re unaware of its existence. Open to all levels, this class will utilize in-class writing exercises, craft discussions and close readings. Come chuckle; come cringe; come write!

Jeff Alessandrelli’s first full-length collection of poetry is the recently published THIS LAST TIME WILL BE THE FIRST (Burnside Review Press, 2014). He is also the author of the little book Erik Satie Watusies His Way Into Sound (Ravenna Press) and three chapbooks, including Don’t Let Me Forget To Feed The Sharks (Poor Claudia). His work has appeared in Denver Quarterly, Pleiades, DIAGRAM, Salt Hill, Western Humanities Review, Gulf Coast and Boston Review, among others. The name of Jeff’s dog is Beckett Long Snout.


$15 for members/$25 for members

Register here: