11 AWP highlights and lowlights

1. Favorite overheard quote: “AWP is like speed dating 7,000 writers.”

2. Biggest mistake I made: Forgot to warn my friend Jim, who was embarking on his first AWP, about FADS (First AWP Despair Syndrome, in which the sufferer is unprepared for the experience of being surrounded by thousands of writers and the resulting angst it produces.) Sorry Jim!

3. Most inscrutable 30 seconds: Catching random parts of poetry videos on the elevator TVs. Who at the Poetry Foundation thought poetry + elevator = good idea?

4. Favorite beverage: Mexican hot chocolate at Ethel’s Chocolate Lounge. I want to marry that hot chocolate and have its chocolate babies

5. Favorite non-conference moment: checking out the snow sculptures across the street

6. Best lunch companion: Justin St. Germain—read new pages of his book, which is going to be a modern classic. It’s the best. I love him.

7. Second favorite overheard quote: “Snuck into the VIP party and it was a geriatric cocktail hour. What are we supposed to aspire to now?”

8. Ickiest moment: Drunk poet at the bar stroking my arm and saying, “Tell me moooore about youuur poetry”

9. Third favorite overheard quote (after seeing Air Force One out the window as our plane was leaving the gate): “There’s Obama! He couldn’t get into the VIP party either.”

10. Proudest moment: Alex Chee gave me the Best Shoes of the conference award!

11. Favorite quote from Pinckney Benedict during our panel: “Abandon those dreams of audience, prizes, and fame because when you achieve them, they’re ashes in the mouth compared to the beauty of making the words on the page. As much as you can, abandon any ambition for the novel except the page you’re working on that day. Make that page ecstatic and beautiful.”

Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)