AWP New York: A Report

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AWP is always wild for me.  For most of us, no doubt.  I run into people I’ve know in every phase of my adult life.  Every school, every job, every love, every everything.  It can be overwhelming.

The conference had 50% more participants than ever before, and registration shut down in December.  I saw lots of friends, teachers, editors, colleagues, and even some students from years past.  I tried to make a list of them quickly realized that it’s impossible, at least at this moment.

The book fair this year was immense, taking up 3 floors of the Hilton.  I managed to keep my spending reasonable, mainly because I waited until 3:30 the last day of the conference and discovered they weren’t accepting credit cards.  Que es "cash"?  I did come home with some loot though.  I’m most excited about:

Lip Wolf by Laura Solorzano, tr. Jen Hofer
Sensational Spectacular by Nate Pritts
F 2 F by Janet Holmes
Practice = New Writing + Art, issue 2

One night my friends Ann Bogle, Alexis Quinlan, and Carol Novack led me to a reading by 20 women on the NYU campus.  They were celebrating the publication of Not for Mothers Only, edited by Rebecca Wolff and Catherine Wagner and newly issued by Fence Books.  The event was so packed we couldn’t always tell who was reading.  I’m certain that I did see
Molly Peacock, Anne Waldman, Zhang Er, and Nicole Cooley.  Mostly I listened to the poets’ voices and watched a 4 year old drawing pictures with her moms.  She had some cool colored pencils.

Most of my conference time was dedicated to the Writers in the Schools Alliance events which took place at regular intervals for four days running.  I will blog about them at the WITS blog and the Alliance blog a.s.a.p.  But first, some sleep.