Thursday 7 February 2008

AWP, Day 3 of 3

Day 3 had some wondrous moments. The first occurred as I was heading to the conference Saturday morning. I stepped into the elevator on the 12th floor, where I was staying, and it stopped first at floor 9. Asking "Going down?" was my undergraduate mentor, Stephen Yenser, whom I hadn't seen in years and had just been speaking of the night before. Hello, hello! Unfortunately, he was off to the airport, so we only had a few minutes, but it was a delight nonetheless.

I didn't make it to a panel or reading on the last day, as I was manning the Bath Spa stall from 12:30-1:30 and 3:30-5:30, with a meeting at 11:45 and several crucial stops to make at the bookfair. I could have squeezed one event in, I can see, but then I felt so exhausted it seemed impossible--I felt that between 1:30 and 3:30 I had both to have lunch and respond to some important emails, too.

I don't want to mention all the people I talked to (some of it might sound like name-dropping). So I'll note two new publications/presses I became acquainted with that day, that I hope to know better. The publication is A Public Space, a strong new journal published by a former editor of The Paris Review. Lytton introduced me to it while I was staying with him, and one of the editors happened to visit the Bath Spa stall while I was there. The press is Les Figues, a new experimental press in L.A. (well, new to me). Director Teresa Carmody's advocacy of her authors and her programme impressed me.

I think I feel sufficiently sated that I could go two years before returning, as it was between the Austin and New York AWPs, but I can't miss Chicago. Thus I am already planning two proposals: one for a panel on "Writing Masculinity"; one for a reading from the UK women's avant garde poetries anthology I'm editing.

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