Confession Tuesday

L to R: Rita Dove, Duriel Harris, Tayari Jones, Natasha Trethewey, and me

L to R: Duriel Harris, Rita Dove, Tree Swensen, Elizabeth Alexander, Tayari Jones, Jacqueline Jones Lamon, and me. Not in these photos but present at our tables were Kevin Young, Greg Pardlo, and Nick Flynn.

I have no business in this photos yet here I am, right in the mix of things (and having a really good time)!


This Confession Tuesday, I'm sharing a few of my favorite moments at AWP Denver. So here we go, bullet-point style.

  • The V.I.P. party. The V.I.P. party. The V.I.P. party.
  • Spending a few minutes with Rita Dove
  • Giving a copy of Underlife to Nick Flynn
  • Hearing Natasha Trethewey say that she's taught one of my poems in her class
  • Running into Matthew Dickman; the fact that he's even heard of me blows my mind
  • Having dinner and spending time with the fabulous Jacqueline Lamon
  • Reading with Cave Canem and Kundiman; nothing makes me more nervous than reading in front of the CC/Kundi family
  • Well, except for standing on a chair and reading in the middle of a crowded book fair (see pictures below)
  • Listening to Tara Betts read my poem "Poem About Nuts" to me at the CC/Kundi reading-- didn't see that one coming!
  • Meeting the alchemist behind The Alchemist's Kitchen, Susan Rich
  • Meeting the fabulously dressed and very talented Kate Durbin
  • Finally meeting C. Dale Young
  • Spending a few minutes with Brian Turner
  • Having drinks with Allison Joseph and Jon Tribble
  • Having lunch with J.D. Scrimgeour, Dawn Paul, and Keith Leonard--my Massachusetts peeps
  • Having breakfast with the Wompo listserv members
  • Sharing the airport shuttle with Toi Derricotte and Greg Orr
  • Having Greg Orr help me out of the back seat of the shuttle
  • Meeting so many people that I know through the blog, Twitter, and FB.

All of this means something to me. I am overwhelmed with gratitude for being a part of the poetry community. (*big smile*)


Poetry collections I picked up while I was away:

  • From the Fishouse: An Anthology of Poems That Sing, Rhyme, Resound, Syncopate, Alliterate, and Just Plain Sound Great.
  • The Alchemist's Kitchen, by Susan Rich
  • Want, by Rick Barot
  • Fort Red Border, by Kiki Petrosino
  • Tough Boy Sonatas, by Curtis Crisler
  • The Us, by Joan Houlihan
  • Here, Bullet, by Brian Turner
  • Prose: Poems, a Novel, by Jamie Iredell
  • What Big Teeth: Red Riding Hood's Real Life, by Lana Hechtman Ayers
  • Running Away from Russia, by Luisa Rossina Villani
  • Narrative of the Life of the Brown Boy and the White Man, by Rolando Wilson
  • Handmade Love, by Julie R. Enszer

Books I want to pick up, post AWP:

  • Mixology, byAdrian Matejka
  • Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry, Camille Dungy (ed.)


Underlife was selected as a finalist for the 2010 Paterson Poetry Prize! Not sure about the other finalists, but Sherman Alexie won for his collection Face.


Upon my return, I found out that my kids spent an interesting but fun week with my parents. I guess a few rules were thrown out the window. My son told me he and his sister watched the Lady Gaga video for Telephone. Yikes!


I'm behind on my NaPoWriMo poems. Will catch up later this week while traveling to NYC and Balitmore.

Now it's your turn. Share something about yourself with us. Happy Tuesday, everyone!


You read splendidly at the CC/Kundiman reading. And you read splendidly standing on a chair in the middle of the book fair.
Rethabile said…
i think you do have business in those photos.
Jessie Carty said…
such epic awesomeness (yes i am reverting to teenager fan girl slang!)!! funny that the grad students i talked to at ODU were just reading Mixology which I was not familiar with. Looks like I need to pick that up!
RE: Underlife was selected as a finalist for the 2010 Paterson Poetry Prize! Not sure about the other finalists, but Sherman Alexie won for his collection Face.

AWESOME! Congrats! That is such wonderful news!

RE: Grandparents-- When my daughter stayed with my husband's mom when we picked her up she said, "Nana Rose let me watch The Simpsons and Family Guy, but I turned off Family Guy because it wasn't appropriate." !
January said…
Yeah, grandparents are funny like that--they have their own way of dealing with kids. Can't wait to see how I will be as a grandparent, which seems like a long, long time from now.


Thanks for the kind words.
January said…
Jessie, we must talk about ODU. That's my alma mater but I'm having a hard time reading there and in the Tidewater area.

Glad your talk went well. Can't wait to pick up Mixology.
January said…
Rethabile, do you have a copy of Underlife? If not, let me know and I'll send it to you.

January said…
Olie, I completely forgot to add you to my list. Really enjoyed spending time with you at AWP.

Looking forward to seeing you on the East Coast in October.

Collin Kelley said…
I believe you are now officially a famous poet. :)

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