Interview with “Laughing” Larry Berger

Today’s guest “Laughing” Larry Berger performs unique poetry live and also shares some of his pieces and other news at his blog Poetic Conversations.  Enjoy!

When did you discover your love for poetry?

9/13/1993 . I was working as a marketing director for The Writer’s Exchange Literary Agency In Los Angeles, CA  and the agent I was working for suggested that I go to the reading at The Midnight Special Bookstore in Santa Monica , CA  to help develop my public speaking skills. I went that Friday on the day in question and I was hooked. I went back the next week and read my first poem and I haven’t stopped since.

How does interactive poetry work?  Are you its creator?

APF stands for Audience Participation Freestyle and the way it usually works Is when I go to a reading I’ll ask the audience for titles and build poems on them in 30 seconds or less. I’ve been using this as my primary writing technique for 14 years now. the “good ” ones that I remember get written down but most are lost forever unless the reading happens to be video taped or recorded. I average 5-30 APF poems in a 10 minute set so I’ve done a lot over the years.  I only met one other person in all that time that does anything similar  but she was also an Improve actress. to the best of my knowledge I created this form.

Tell us about your book “Instant Poetry (Just add words!)”

I originally wrote it to coincide with a self-help guide that I was taking on tour. I was surprised that it sold better than the guide did. I put out second edition and that sold another 500 copies just by going to readings on the west coast.  I put the third edition out on IUniverse so that I would not make liars out of my friends G. Murray Thomas and Brendon Constantine. Brendon once called me ” The Omnipresent “Laughing” Larry” and when I did an article on ,my top ten favorite venues for Murray’s magazine ( Next… Magazine 1990-2003) as a bio for the article he wrote that he had ” heard “Laughing” Larry at every venue he’d been to and even some he hadn’t.”  It took me 13 years but I kept us all honest.

What are you currently working on?

I’m currently working on a manuscript called ENTITLEMENT which has to be at least 100 pages to meet the minimum required for a hard cover book . I’m currently on page 77. I’m also working on a movie script based on one of my poems called “The Adventures of Parrot Man” and my blog at

Could you share a favorite piece with us?

“Bubble gum”

and warm between my teeth
an old lover returns
yet tangy inside my mouth
as over and over
she dances
building ever more desire
Slowly she turns up the heat
stoking the fires
her passions no longer confinable
releasing the rapture of the moment
and then
she slides along my tongue for

“Laughing” Larry Berger has been a working poet since 1999 . His books include: Instant poetry (Just Add Words!), Chocolate box, Working Title, and the CD Dragon’s Dance volume one.  He sponsored the Skysaje Enterprises poetry contest and has been published in the following:  Of the People (Tiger Lilly Press), The Onyx anthology (Projector Press), Le Mote Juste (Just poets 2009), Everyday, Next… Magazine, Pinnacle Hill Review
and his blog, Poetic Conversations.  He is available for bookings.  Here is a link to his books:

A big thanks to Larry for coming and sharing about his passion for poetry and current projects.  Readers are welcome to add comments and questions for Larry in the comment form below.


About Jodi

Jodi L. Milner is a writer, mandala enthusiast, and educator. Her epic fantasy novel, Stonebearer’s Betrayal, was published in November 2018 and rereleased in Jan 2020. She has been published in several anthologies. When not writing, she can be found folding children and feeding the laundry, occasionally in that order.
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4 Responses to Interview with “Laughing” Larry Berger

  1. oldancestor says:

    So many creative people out there.

    Thanks for exposing me to something new!

    • tsuchigari says:

      And thanks for always stopping by and leaving me nice notes. I really appreciate it!

      • oldancestor says:

        I come across a lot of writer’s blogs, and yours is never pedantic or written from “on high.” You act like a real human being and aren’t afraid to talk about the aspects of writing you aren’t as comfortable with or say, hey, this thing I wrote could have been better. What do you think?

        It makes me feel less insecure about the flaws in my own writing, because I know I’m not the only one who has strengths and weaknesses.

        As generous and supportive as we all are (I think), we are all competitive too. You can appreciate someone’s success and also envy it. But when your book gets published in a few years, I’m pretty sure I’ll think nothing other than it’s well deserved and couldn’t have happened to a better person.

        Well, I’ll probably brag that I know you, too.

  2. Risa Ruse says:

    Hi Larry,
    Did you not do a few poems at the Artist Breakfast Group a couple of years ago? I stopped going there because my work needed more Internet exposure and I now concentrate on having various forms of Sculpture on my local-on-line Art Gallery. I think writing in fantasy has an original idea of thought that in intself is a marvelous example of how we grasp what the Universe has to offer. I’m glad you reached up so high!
    Best Wishes,
    Risa Ruse

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