(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.
- 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.
- 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*