My third AWP was by far the best yet. Here are some highlights:
- I got to meet Frank X. Walker, perhaps my current favorite poet. He ranks up there, for sure. He signed my copy of When Winter Come and I got to tell him his book was the best I had read in a very long time. He also stopped by the Weave table and was very, very sweet.
- The whole Affrilachian poetry reading, in fact. Every one of those readers was fantastic. Patricia Smith read an absolutely amazing crown of sonnets. I got the chance to tell her this.
- The Weave table! I burned out a little by the end of each day, but I got to meet a few more of our contributors for the first and second issues there; Michael Ogletree, Karen Schubert, and Ahimsa Timoteo Bodhrán. Also, Weave sold fairly well (especially, I have been told, for our first AWP!) and we have some new subscriptions! Yay!
- Getting to escort Mary Biddinger on stage at the Anti/diode poetry reading.
- Meeting the absolutely lovely Dana Guthrie Martin (another issue 01 contributor) at the Anti/diode poetry reading.
- Talking to M. Bartley Seigel, the editor of Pank, whose third issue features two of my poems. He is also lovely. I'd gone to a panel he was on last year and recall completely agreeing with his editorial policies. Also, he gave me a free Pank tshirt! It has a typewriter on it!
- The one and only panel I was able to go to; Poet as Oracle. It was amazing. They talked about stepping out of the ego when writing poetry and poetry written during meditation (among other things, of course). The panel really spoke to me and reflected a lot of what I have been trying to do in my own poetry lately. It was wonderful.
- Starting up the dance party on Friday and Saturday night with Crystal. There were people who thought we had been paid to do so.
- Spending part of Saturday with my old friend Natalie who I literally had not seen in ten years. We worked at Girlscout camp together. It was wonderful to get to catch up with her.
- Hanging out with the lovely people of Akron; Mary Biddinger, Jay Robinson, Frank DePoole, and Eric Morris. Hopefully I will get to see all of them again very soon!
- Guerrilla poetry readings for Judy Johnson. Fantastic. Also lunch with Judy Johnson. Also being informed that the TypewriterGirls can now "officially" be affiliated with 13th Moon Press. Also planning a reading with Judy Johnson for April.
And, of course
- Spending the week with my two favorite girls; Crystal and Laura
I know a lot of superlatives were used in this post, but it's because I had such an amazing time and got to meet and spend time with so many amazing people that I can't help but gush a little bit. Pictures to come.
Hope your AWP was fantastic, too!