Tag Archives: Association of Writers & Writing Programs

AWP 2013 Round-Up

15 Mar

AWP Boston 2013 was a wonderful experience and I came back incredibly energized to return to writing poems again after about a year hiatus!  Even though I was swamped with AWP-related activities (I was part of Bellevue Literary Review’s anniversary panel reading, read with Zone 3 Press/Univ. of Wisconsin Press –and freaking Richard Blanco! — on Friday night, and had a signing at the Perugia Press table for my second book, The Wishing Tomb) and family-friend related activities (such as meeting my gorgeous, amazing birth-cousin, Hope for the first time at my aforementioned reading), I had a marvelous time seeing everyone, going to the book fair, and enjoying the chaos that is AWP.  I can’t wait for next year — especially since Pebble Lake Review has BIG plans for AWP to celebrate its 10th-year anniversary!

AWP swag!

AWP swag!

AWP-acquired books & journals!

AWP-acquired books & journals!

I got: free copies of Poets & Writers, Looking for the Gulf Motel by Richard Blanco,  One Today by Richard Blanco (the limited-edition chapbook of Blanco’s Inaugural poem), free copies of The Southeast Review, Predatory by Glenn Shaheen, Charms for Finding by Rebecca Kinzie Bastian, Bright Power, Dark Peace by Traci Brimhall and Brynn Saito, a copy of The American Poetry Review, a cool little notebook/pen set and nylon drawstring book bag from Zone 3 Press, a diode button, two bookmarks from Boxcar Poetry Review, and two of the coolest-designed books I’ve ever seen from idiot books (a new-to-me press): After Everafter and Ten Thousand Stories.

Me & my cousin, Hope, & Boston's The Crispy Duck

Me & my cousin, Hope, & Boston’s The Crispy Duck

It was beyond wonderful to get to meet my biological cousin, Hope, in Boston!  She is my birthfather’s sister’s daughter and although we have chatted on the phone a few times and are FB friends, we never met until last week at my reading.  We had THE best time at dinner with Jeff & my friends and after getting drinks across from the Sheraton at McGreevy’s.  We also caught up the next day at Au Bon Pain, where Jeff and I were having a quick lunch in the midst of AWP craziness.  I felt so blessed the entire weekend!

If you want to see more of my AWP experience, I did a guest blog post for Superstition Review here.  A glimpse:


10. What is one bit of advice you could give to someone who’s never been to AWP and is thinking about going next year?

1. Wear comfortable shoes.  Those girls who wear stilettos at AWP?  They’re kidding themselves.  2.  Take your gummy vitamins and Emergen-C as AWP is a cesspool of flus and colds.  3.  You will not make every panel.  4.  Budget your money wisely because it runs out faster than you’d think.  5.  You will run into your frenemies.  6.  The hotel bar is overrated and expensive.  Go for the free wine and beer at the dance party instead.  7.  You will fall down at least once.  8. That famous poet really doesn’t want to read your manuscript or blurb your book.  9.  You will not have time to have meaningful conversations, unless you count a meaningful conversation as three minutes of hellos and one awkward photo taken on a camera phone.  10.  It’s the best time ever.


I also came back from AWP to discover that the Women Write Resistance: Poets Resist Gender Violence (in which my poem, “Creole Tomatoes,” appears) is now available from Hyacinth Girl Press!

Women Write Resistance: Poets Resist Gender Violence

Women Write Resistance: Poets Resist Gender Violence

About the anthology:  Women Write Resistances: Poets Resist Gender Violence views poetry as a transformative art. By deploying techniques to challenge narratives about violence against women and making alternatives to that violence visible, the over 100 women American poets in this anthology intervene in the ways gender violence is perceived in American culture. The critical introduction frames the intellectual work behind the building of the
anthology by describing how poets break silence, disrupt narratives, and use strategic anger to resist for change. Poetry of resistance distinguishes itself by a persuasive rhetoric that asks readers to act. The anthology collects poems by Alicia Ostriker, Maureen Seaton, Judy Grahn, Hadara Bar-Nadav, Ellen Bass, Kristy Bowen, Allison Hedge Coke, Jehanne Dubrow, Leslie Adrienne Miller, Khadijah Queen, Hilda Raz, Evie Shockley, Margo Taft Stever, Judith Vollmer, Rosemary Winslow, and many, many more.

I’m thrilled to be one of the “many more” in this important collection of women poets writing on gender violence.  Get your copy here!

AWP 2012: Chicago

29 Feb


I have printed my boarding passes.  I have packed sweaters, pens, camera, iPad, a copy of my book, lipstick, and even calling cards.  I have prepared myself for the onslaught of 9500+ writers/editors/agents/grad students converging around the Hilton on S. Michigan Ave. (where I’m staying) in various stages of  chatter, drunkenness, eagerness, and trying to light cigarettes against the brutal wind off Lake Michigan.  It’s that time again, kids: AWP!


For the uninitiated, here is a good break-down of  what AWP is actually about.  I haven’t been to AWP since it was in New York, which might as well have been a thousand years ago.  I’ve graduated my MFA program since then, published two books, got a teaching gig.  I’m ready to go back.  I love/hate the madness that is AWP.  I love, love the bookfair and the off-site readings.  I make long lists of panels I want to go to, but for some reason rarely make.   I really plan to make a few this year: the ones I have chosen (below) are either panels put together by really smart, talented friends, or directly speak to my own writing plans/goals.


Here’s where you can find me amid the lovely chaos:


Thursday, March 1


7-9 pm: My Reading w/Zone 3 Press, The Fine Arts Building, 410 South Michigan Ave, Suite 733



Zone 3 Reading


8:30 pm: Gulf Coast/Indiana Review Reading, Buddy Guy’s Legends


Friday, March 2


10:30-11:15 am: @ the Bookfair/Alison Pelegrin book signing @ University of Akron Press table (@ 11 am)


1-2 pm: My book signing @ Zone 3 Press table


2pm: Lacy Johnson/Joseph Campana signing @ Iowa Press booth


3-4:15 pm: New Prose from Northwestern University: A Reading; International Ballroom South, Hilton Chicago, 2nd Floor


4:30-5:45 pm: Writing & Selling Adoption Panel; Lake Ontario, Hilton Chicago, 8th Floor


11pm: Screening of Nick Flynn’s film, “Being Flynn”; ShowPlace ICON Theatre, 150 West Roosevelt Road [I feel SO lucky that I was able to get tickets for Jeff & me as they sold out a little over a day after I reserved them!] NOTE: You MUST have an AWP pass + ticket confirmation + arrive @ 10:45PM to get in.


Saturday, March 3


10:30-11:45 am: In White: White Poets and Race Panel (Tess Taylor, Jake Adam York); Continental C, Hilton Chicago, Lobby Level


4:30-5:45 pm: Hybrid Bodies: Poets Negotiating the Fractal Geographies of Trauma and Identity (Addie Tsai, Kelly Moore, Shane McCrae); Astoria, Hilton Chicago, 3rd Floor


7-9 pm: My Reading w/Gigantic Sequins/Rose Metal Press; Beauty Bar, 1444 W. Chicago Ave.



When I’m not at the above, I will either be circulating the bookfair, sleeping, eating, live tweeting, or at the hotel bar.  I can’t wait to be back @ AWP and see old friends and meet new ones!


For those of you attending AWP, don’t forget to check out Daniel Nester’s 2012 AWP Bingo Card.  It’s pretty amazing.