How can we use mischief and humor to shape the voice, form and trajectory of a poem? In this five-week, online workshop, we’ll explore how you can tap into your own sense of humor to shed light on the larger life questions that are difficult to explore and answer, or issues you might fear most. We’ll read poets like Tom Sleigh, Naomi Shihab Nye, Emilia Phillips, Marilyn Chin, June Jordan and more. Students will respond with poems of their own to weekly prompts, utilizing satire, absurdism, surrealism and wordplay to create comedic effects. The workshop will also cover aspects of performance and how to impart humor off the page. We’ll dedicate a week to the idea of “poetry improv,” which will include a range of exercises and writing prompts to free your spontaneous, comedic lyrical self. Class sessions will meet synchronously via Zoom every Thursday, and assignments, poems and critiques will be shared via Wet Ink.
Rosebud Ben-Oni is the author of several collections of poetry, including If This Is the Age We End Discovery (March 2021), which won the Alice James Award and was a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award. She has received fellowships and grants from the New York Foundation for the Arts, City Artists Corps, Café Royal Cultural Foundation, CantoMundo and Queens Council on the Arts. Her work appears in Poetry, American Poetry Review, Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day, Poetry Society of America, the Poetry Review (UK), Poetry Wales, Tin House, Guernica and Electric Literature, among other places. Her poem “Poet Wrestling with Angels in the Dark” was commissioned by the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in NYC, and her poem “Dancing with Kiko on the Moon” was featured on Tracy K. Smith’s The Slowdown. In May 2022, Paramount commissioned her video essay “My Judaism is a Wild Unplace” for a campaign for Jewish Heritage Month, which appeared on Paramount Network, MTV Networks, The Smithsonian Channel and VH1, among many other places. In January 2023, she performed at Carnegie Hall on International Holocaust Memorial Day as part of “We Are Here: Songs From The Holocaust.”