Shelley Berman began writing poetry during the time he was teaching in the Master of Professional Writing program at USC, where he taught humor writing. He became acquainted with poet James Ragan, then head of the MPW program, and was invited to take one of Ragan's poetry classes. There, he discovered a love and talent for writing poetry that he has enjoyed ever since.

Berman also shared his love of poetry as a volunteer at the Motion Picture and Television Fund, a well-known residential community for show business veterans. There, he ran a weekly class for residents where they shared their love of poetry and also shared their own work. Berman writes about this time in his book, as well.

Topics in the book range from observations about life and world events, to poems teaching various forms of poetry, to reflections on his show business life and friends made along the way, to, as one might expect, humorous reactions to the everyday world.

Click here to buy To Laughter With Questions: Poetry By Shelley Berman.

In addition to his book of poetry, Shelley is the author of three very popular and humorous books which have gone into several printings. Below are notes from the original dust jackets

(originally published by Price/Stern/Sloan Publishers, Inc.):

CLEANS AND DIRTYS (first published in 1966)

In "Cleans and Dirtys," Shelley Berman, one of our most brilliant comedy writers and performers, presents a revolutionary approach to understanding the American language. He has discovered that not only beauty, but semantic interpretations, are CLEANS and DIRTYS in the eye of the beholder and that some very innocent-looking words are not so innocent at all. For example:

To Have a Party Is A CLEAN  •  To Have an Affair Is A DIRTY

Little Rock Is A CLEAN  •  Hot Springs Is A DIRTY

Tarzan Walking With Jane Is A CLEAN  •  Tarzan Swinging With Jane Is A DIRTY

Click here to buy Cleans and Dirtys.

A HOTEL IS A PLACE... (first published in 1972)

If you travel at all, at some time or another you will probably stay in a hotel.

If so, you cannot help coming to the conclusion, as humorist Shelley Berman has, that hotels are curious and bizarre places. They are, in fact, sovereign territories - with their own languages, their own behavior patterns, their own definitions for comfort and service. Since hotels are "hotelish" - in fact, alien - how can an ordinary human describe a hotel in one sentence?

If he really thinks about it he'll simply say: "A hotel is a place..." and stop right there. But if he's Shelley Berman he'll say "A Hotel is a Place..." and sit down and write a hilarious satire.

Click here to buy A Hotel Is A Place....


(first published in 1986)

Explore the inconveniences of the airways through the eyes of America's funniest victim! Comedian Shelley Berman reveals tactics to help every airline passenger stay UP IN THE AIR without getting down in the dumps.

Take a quick course in "plane" English as Shelley explains:

·   FABGAB (the fabricated language of airlines)

·   POOP (Perusal Of Other Passengers)

·   TAMs (Toy Airline Meals)

Then place your seatback and tray table in an upright position, extinguish all smoking materials and fasten your seat belt - you're about to take one uproarious ride!

Click here to buy Up In The Air with Shelley Berman.