Big ups to my boss for suggesting I take the train. Haven’t done this in years, and I’m enjoying that the seats are mostly empty. It’s quiet. I even dozed off a bit.
I’m traveling to New York City to begin the mayhem that is AWP. Just a few quick thoughts while in transit.
I’ve gotten the impression from a few blogs that if you’re a recognizable poet, attending an AWP conference is a necessary evil. It's good to see and be seen. If you’re established, everyone wants something from you: an autograph, the meaning of life, how to get published, etc. I think most well-published poets enjoy visiting with their peers and hearing from “fans” most of the time. But it’s almost like a task instead of a fun few days. Too bad for them.
Me? I enjoy being a fan of poets and poetry in venues like this. Similar to the Dodge Festival (but on a lesser scale), the poets are really accessible. You can be in a session and ask a poet whom you’ve read for years what it was like to write a particular poem. No one knows me, so I can lurk and gawk and gush all I want—and post about it later.
Unfortunately, I won’t have a chance to respond to your posts this week.But keep posting—I read them all. Photos tomorrow.
Tonight, I’m off to the Cave Canem fundraiser. Here are the details:
2nd Annual Cave Canem Fellows Reading
The Bowery Poetry Club, 308 Bowery, New York, New York
$10 cover charge.
Fellows Michelle Berry, DeLana Dameron, Jacqueline Johnson, LaTasha Nevada Diggs, Krista Franklin, Rachel Eliza Griffiths, Richard Hamilton; Myronn Hardy, Randall Horton, Marcus Jackson, Amanda Johnston, Jacqueline Jones LaMon, January O'Neil, Ernesto Mercer, Dante Micheaux, Indigo Moor, Nicole Sealey, Shia Shabazz, Evie Shockley, and Bianca Spriggs take a poetry marathon to New York City's literary hot spot!
A piece of good news: Crab Orchard Review accepted one of my poems! Now that's how you kick off the AWP, baby!
More on Thursday.