Laughter in the Time of Suffering: Writing Humor from the Margins

Rooms 345-346, Summit Building, Seattle Convention Center, Level 3
Saturday, March 11, 2023
3:20 pm to 4:35 pm


How can humor create transformative and generative spaces to explore otherwise painful and traumatic experiences? How can laughter act as a way to self-protect, to productively channel rage and to confront exterior forces such as homophobia, transphobia, familial violence, racism, and sexism? We'll discuss how we use humor, satire, and absurdity with intentionality and inclusivity to face the page, focusing on humor's transgressive potential as a political mode of subversion, healing, and justice.

Outline & Supplemental Documents

Event Outline: AWP_2023_Event_Outline.pdf



Claire Stanford is the author of Happy for You, published by Viking in Spring 2022. She holds an MFA from the University of Minnesota and a PhD in English from UCLA. She is an assistant professor of English at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Elaine Hsieh Chou is a Pushcart Prize–winning Taiwanese American writer from California. A Rona Jaffe Graduate Fellow at NYU and a NYFA Fellow, her debut novel, Disorientation, was published by Penguin Press, and her speculative short story collection, Where Are You Really From?, is forthcoming in 2024.

Chantal V. Johnson is a lawyer and writer. Her debut novel, Post-Traumatic, was published by Little, Brown in 2022. A graduate of Stanford Law School and a 2018 Center for Fiction Emerging Writers Fellow, she lives in New York.

Edgar Gomez is a Florida-born writer with roots in Nicaragua and Puerto Rico. He has written for POPSUGAR, Narratively, Longreads, Catapult, Ploughshares, The Rumpus, and elsewhere online and in print. He is also the author of the recent memoir High-Risk Homosexual. For more, visit EdgarGomez.net.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center