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This course will explore what makes writing funny in a variety of poetic & non-poetic contexts. We will examine formal principles commonly employed by comedians — deadpan, absurdity, premise, surprise, and timing — and consider their analogs in poetry. We’ll think critically about the difference between cheap gag and complex satire. Even those who don’t consider themselves “funny” writers will find value in our exploration of comedic concepts. There will be a balance between writing exercises designed to illustrate basic principles of comedic writing and workshopping of participant work. Attendees are asked to bring in a poem of their own in any style on any subject.
Mark Leidner is the author of Beauty Was the Case that They Gave Me (Factory Hollow Press, 2011) and The Angel in the Dream of Our Hangover (Sator Press, 2011). He lives in Atlanta. His Twitter handle is @markleidner.