Sunday, February 03, 2008


(I am BWS—blogging while Super Bowl-ing. And sweating nails.)

AWP was off the hook this year! I mean, it was jam-packed with poets, writers, teachers, students, and vendors. There were more book sellers in NYC than I could count, and lots of thoughtful dialogue inside and outside of the sessions.

A big event like this allows one to see firsthand that poetry is alive and well in the U.S. And with so many new presses and poetry projects, print will never be obsolete.

Biggest surprises?

  • Despite navigating between two hotels, sometimes in the cold rain, the sessions were easy to get to, and the rooms were not overcrowded.
  • Most of the presentations and all of the readings I attended were excellent.
  • I was plesantly surprised by how many people came up and said that they read the blog. Craziness, I tell you! But much appreciated.
  • The success of so many poets with first and second books receiving awards and earning tenure—that’s awesome!
  • This really shouldn’t surprise me, but the number of CC and Kundiman fellows making waves in the greater poetry community is phenomenal.
  • One word: Facebook.

And this … how much I missed Phebus Etienne. There were times when crowds would spill out into halls after sessions and I thought—I believed—she would tap me on the shoulder to tell me about a great discussion she had just heard.

Biggest disappointments?

  • In general, the conference is overwhelming. Is it possible that AWP is getting to big, or just indicative of what happens with a New York venue?
  • Too much schmoozing. Too many writers trying to be noticed or make deals.
  • Too many aggressive book fair vendors trying to get me to their table, guilting me into buying something.
  • I didn’t say hi to my Facebook friend Mark Doty. *sigh*

More specifics from the sessions to come this week.


polkadotwitch said...

here's my super bowl wrap up from my blog this evening:

"I'm sure you've heard of spygate. What until you hear what the patriots have pulled this time! They intercepted all video signals in the continental united states and showed an alternate ending of super bowl XLII, tricking the giants and all their gullible fans into actually believing that they had beaten the patriots.

Isn't that a funny trick?"

January said...

I just don't understand it. *sigh*

Goodnight, Mom said...

Hey Jana,

So sorry about the bowl. Jon and I were watching intently and our satellite dish went out with 19 seconds to go! We were finally able to get it back on in time for the trophy presentation.

Tough loss.


polkadotwitch said...

just saw your next post requesting no comments about the game. i'm sorry! i hope it wasn't up before i posted this; i don't want to seem non-compliant.

i'm glad you got a lot out of AWP. i'll have to bend your ear more about the experience at some point. i'm very out of that whole loop and i'm OK with that for now, but probably one day i should jump in.


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