Melissa Bank taught fiction at Summer Words 2014 and appeared on stage with former US Poet Laureate Billy Collins to discuss “The Art of Humor.”

Melissa Bank is the bestselling author of two works of fiction: The Girls Guide to Hunting and Fishing, which won the 1993 Nelson Algren Award for short fiction, and The Wonderspot. Her books have been translated into over thirty languages. Bank has published stories in the Chicago Tribune, Zoetrope, The North American Review, Other Voices, and Ascent. Her work has also been heard on “Selected Shorts” on National Public Radio. She teaches in the M.F.A. program at Stony Brook Southampton and divides her time between New York City and East Hampton.

From “The Art of Humor”
“You find out how desperate people are to laugh when you give a reading and you’re not reading something funny, and they laugh anyway. Really, we are desperate, and actually I’m going to be a downer for a minute and say, it’s actually something to watch out for in your own sense of what good writing is… It is kind of addictive, but you have to remember that when you write, you’re writing for the page, and you’re writing for a private experience, and what might be funny at a reading, where people are dying to laugh, is not going to be that meaningful on the page.” Read more from the transcript.