Monday, February 07, 2011

Immersion in Poetry

The annual Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) conference came to Washington last week. I am well outside of academe and so did not attend any official functions. However, there were many offsite reading and other events open to the public; in addition, "civilians" were welcome at their magnificent and overflowing bookfair on Saturday, the final day of the conference. I went to a very inspiring and enjoyable literary house party in Adams Morgan (not far from my home) on Friday night. I heard many good poems, met in person for the first time a virtual friend and fellow poet, Bernadette Geyer, and made the acquaintance of the editors of Drunken Boat, 32 Poems, and several other fine little mags.

The bookfair on Saturday was equally inspiring. I got to visit with dozens of representatives of small presses and little mags, shook hands with poets Dana Gioia and Stanley Plumly, picked up a bag full of poetry books, journals, and free goodies, and best of all got to meet the publishers of my first chapbook, Jennifer Bosveld and Chris Groce of Pudding House Publications.

After so many years of effort, with two collections published, I was deeply gratified to feel myself among my peers, not like the kid with his nose pressed against the window of the candy store.

Drinking Weather starts shipping this Friday! Use the link to the right to order, or contact me for your personalized, autographed copy.

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