OCTOBER 11-14, 2018

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Away With Words - Joe Berkowitz - <span class="date-display-single">11/03/2017 - 9:00pm</span>

Away With Words

11/03/2017 - 9:00pm

Central Library - Community Room 302

In a world where the corny is commended and the punniest reigns supreme, one writer must conquer his fears in order to compete with the greats in the ultimate battle of wit and wordplay. Away with Words: An Irreverent Tour Through the World of Pun Competitions finds entertainment writer Joe Berkowitz narrating his journey into the heart of the competitive punning world, introducing us to a quirky crew of contestants and the riotous tournaments that regularly celebrate the art of the pun. A delightful and witty narrative, Away With Words will elicit laugh after laugh—and, yes, the occasional bad-pun-induced groan—as Joe relates his firsthand experiences with competitive punning and all of the people, the places, and the defiant passion that fuel this thriving comedy scene.


But it was the punsters Joe befriended along the way to the O. Henry—a glorious kaleidoscope of weirdos—who turned these comic competitions into something more heartfelt and personal. For terminally self-conscious Joe, the competitors who so confidently spouted such a maligned form of humor in front of hundreds were a source of jealousy—and inspiration. The stronger his own performances became, the more he grew in confidence both onstage and off. He learned that there is no shame in liking what gives you joy, and that when you embrace those embarrassing sides of yourself you become a far more authentic person. Joe’s journey down the rabbit hole of pun competitions made him more comfortable in his own skin and taught him to own what he said—every unapologetically cheesy pun included.

Joe Berkowitz

About Presenter Joe Berkowitz


Joe Berkowitz is an editor and staff writer at Fast Company, covering entertainment and pop culture. He is the co-author of You Blew It!: An Awkward Look at the Many Ways in Which You’ve Already Ruined Your Life.


Away With Words

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