CALL FOR PAPERS
Open Letter is seeking critical and creative submissions for a special issue dedicated humour in experiental poetry.
"Why Are You Laughing" will be guest-edited by Jonathan Ball and Ryan Fitzpatrick.
A common complaint of poetry pundits is that experimental poetry tends to entail a humourless flaunting of critical theory. Yet within this field, there are a number of poets that make use of humour as a literary tactic. How exactly is humour used in experimental poetry, and what are its effects? In what ways could we theorize humour in terms of poetry and language in general? Is humour useful as a destabilizing device, or is it politically benign? Can humour make difficult poetry more accessible to a general readership, or does it provide a pretext for dismissing such work?
Possible topics could include (but are not limited to):
* humour and pop references
* irony and/or the failure of irony
* the absurd
* humour as a coping mechanism
* political uses of humour
* humour as an attack on authority
* shock humour
* specific schools or movements for whom humour is important
Please send proposals (350-500 words) by January 1, 2009 to Jonathan Ball or Ryan Fitzpatrick. If proposals are accepted, final papers will be due June 1, 2009.