AWP Before: A List

AWP Before: A List

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I’m gearing up for AWP 2013 in Boston, and I can’t wait! I’ve never been to Boston and AWP is my favorite time of year. I blogged last year about the 2012 conference which was in Chicago. Check out those posts here and here.

I’m about to board a plane to Boston and like 2011, when the conference was in Washington DC, there’s a snowstorm a brewin’. It better not ruin my flight! Remember 2011? “Snowpocalypse,” “Snowmageddon,” and “Snonopoly.” Or, “You don’t snow me,” or “Oh snow you didn’t” Seems funny now, but that year, my departing flight was delayed by a day and a half. I had three cancelled flights, and I missed most of the first day.  I’ve got my fingers crossed that the “Blizzaster” that was 2011 doesn’t happen again this year. Of course, by the time this post is published, the suspense will be over.

I would also like to mention that this glorious event falls on my birthday this year. Happy Birthday to me!

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Here’s what I’m so very excited about at this year’s conference:


I know, this doesn’t sound all that exciting, but I think it can be. This year I will be sitting at both the Hotel Amerika table and the 1913 Press table. As an assistant editor for Hotel Amerika, I helped to proof and assemble Volume 11, and I’m excited to be a representative of such an outstanding publication and a stellar issue. I’ve been working with 1913 Press since I was an undergrad at California State University San Marcos (way back in 2009) in a variety of capacities, and I’m excited to promote the latest and greatest from 1913—Karena Youtz’s The Transfer Tree (already an SPD Best Seller for February) and Jane Lewty’s Bravura Cool. Not only do I get to represent a stellar press and literary journal, but I also get to meet a lot of people that stop by the table. There are always interesting conversations, and you never know who you will run into at the book fair. It’s always a good time (minus the fluorescent lights).

On-site Panels and Readings

This year I am particularly looking forward to a few On-site panels and events.

1. A few of my fellow MFA cohort members, Micah McCrary, Colleen O’Connor, Maddison Hamil, and Matt Cwiklinski are on a panel, The Translation Workshop: A Student Perspective, and will be discussing the MFA student experience in the translation classroom. Read about their presentation last semester at the ALTA conference here.

2. 1913 Press is hosting its first on-site AWP reading, the 1913 10th anniversary Reading, and Charles Bernstein will be reading along with founder and editrice, Sandra Doller and others.  Not only is this a humongous deal for 1913, but it is for me, personally. When I was first exposed to Bernstein’s work as an undergraduate, I became obsessed with language and with the experimental nature of writing. I am looking forward to the opportunity to hear him read in person. Check out his Writing Experiments here. Next time you’ve got a little writer’s block, they’re bound to help you out.

3. Professor David Lazar will be presenting and reading at the Essaying the Essay panel alongside Lia Purpura and David Shields, who both visited Columbia in recent semesters, amongst others.

Off-site Readings

Quite frankly, this is my favorite part of AWP, and there are so many events that I am going to try to make it to this year. What is exciting about off-site events is that it gets you out of the book fair and the conference hotel and into the local bars and venues around the city, mingling and meeting up with fellow writers. This year I will be supporting some of my favorite presses and literary journals (Pank, Switchback, 1913 Press, H_NG_M_N Press, Action, Black Ocean, Octopus, Coconut and Forklift, Ohio, to name a few) and venturing off into the city of Boston to hear some stellar work from writers I admire and new writers that I may not yet know. I can’t wait!

Stay tuned for my “AWP: Aftermath” post. (Oh my goodness, the books I will buy!)