Posted By admin - 6th March 2013
It’s dreary here in Boston. The AWP bigwigs must be partial to overcast skies, bone-chilling air—next year, we’re all headed to Seattle; the year after, Minneapolis. They’re calling this gross wintry mix “The Beast from the East.” A lot of folks who were supposed to arrive this morning have been stalled out at airports in St. Louis or Chicago for most of the day. We writers—who tend toward misanthropy even without slush pooling in our dress sneakers—are beating back the crankiness as best we can. Cocktails help. The hotel bar is already over capacity and friends, it’s still early.
(Bingo card courtesy of Daniel Nester)
I’ve kept my AWP bingo card handy today and already, I’ve got “N-G-O” (well, with the free space). Is it like this on the first day of Star Trek conventions? Comic-Con? To horribly misquote Buster Bluth: Man, it’s awkward in here. There are 11,000+ nerds in one place! Most of us are high on adrenaline and righteous anger at the TSA! We’ve prepared hand-outs for our panels and our 30-second book pitches are tight as hell. We. Are. Ready. But registration’s over—we’ve got nametags and this year’s spiffy new totebag, pre-packed with a hefty conference program that looks like—but is not—a phonebook. Now what?
Other than a few private gatherings, there’s a whole lot of nothing on the schedule for this evening. I’ve decided to use this spare time to wrestle with my inner demons: I am an introvert, yet I yearn so desperately to connect with my fellow man! I am accursed! I’ve donned my convention costume—unlike the Trekkies, it’s just a cardigan, a pair of specs, and a glass of wine. The first page of the schedule for tomorrow morning contains only 10 of the 17 events slotted for 9:00 AM, and already there are four I can’t miss.
But then—I spot it. The One. “Modern Fairy Tales and Retellings.” A panel! There’s a “need for fables in modern society and the literary marketplace,” it says! Kate Bernheimer! Kelly Link! Is it, like, super nerdy to get this excited about a seminar at nine in the morning? It is, right?
Read Katie’s next AWP dispatch here.
Katie Wudel’s writing has appeared in Tin House, McSweeney’s, Prairie Schooner, Nerve, The Rumpus,and on the Ploughshares blog, and can be heard this spring on NPR’s Snap Judgment. Katie has taught creative writing at San Francisco’s School of the Arts and the University of Nebraska-Omaha Writer’s Workshop, and has been awarded scholarships and residencies from Hedgebrook, the Squaw Valley Community of Writers, and Summer Literary Seminars. In 2011, her story “Tongueless,” which first appeared in Monkeybicycle, was one of Wigleaf’s Top [Very] Short Fictions. katiewudel.com.
- WATCH & LISTEN: Parker Posey Reads Jason Napoli Brooks’ “Women…
Last week, director/actor/writer John Cameron Mitchell brought his Mattachine dance party to the Julius Bar in the West Village here in New York, and there was a special treat for literary fans. Actress Parker Posey performed “Women at the End of the World, Act I,” a fantastic monologue written by friend of Monkeybicycle and co-curator of one of our favorite reading series around NYC, The Enclave, Jason Napoli Brooks. If you weren’t lucky enough to attend, now the entire reading is now on YouTube, followed by a short interview with Jason. Check it out below!
- AWP 2013 Dispatch: I Miss You Already
When we woke up this morning, it was already over. In line for coffee, we said a few pre-emptive goodbyes—“In case I don’t see you!” We made sure to stop by the bookfair to schmooze and snag free copies while we still could. Our Saturday panels told us to move on, move forward, move up.
- AWP 2013 Dispatch: Battening Down the Hatches
Want to survive AWP with your sanity intact? Take a little time for yourself—no panels, no bookfair, no small talk, no pressure.
. . . Especially if you danced right on past your bedtime the night before with a bunch of other gangly nerds. (At VIDA prom, the geeks are the cool kids! Bookish teenagers, take note: It gets better. It gets so much better.) I spent much of this morning cursing Daisy Buchanan’s too-cheap rum punch, munching a cold egg sandwich from the hotel Au Bon Pain.