2024 AWP Conference review
Tie for best thrown together display on Bookfair tables,
Homemade sign for a Lit Journal table that read, “Most of our poets are not dead.”
Another was a table in which the cloth covering was anchored down by two 5 lbs bags of C&H Sugar, primpting me to ask, “Why graze from table to table on the free candy, when you can just infuse 5 lbs of sugar here?”
Other fun stuff- a metal box with window, random word magnets -complete your best poem in 6 to 8 words. They you have them framed in a little framed window box.
Keynote address by poet Jericho Brown was awesome. He was funny, charming, and raged against the danger and stupidity of book banning.
Biggest downfall of conference - no bags at registration, no program books. Signage about the convention center was poor/lacking which was exacerbated by not having the program books this year.
Persons I missed seeing Mary Biddinger, who was in attendance but elusive, Susan Rich, also present but I missed. Kelli Russell Agodon, who cancelled at last minute, Katie Manning, who I missed to see a competing poetry reading and now wish I had gone to the one she was having. Amy Leigh Davis, who I heard was coming but I did not see, and a host of others that I often get to see only at conference.
It was especilly nice run into Erin Schaaf Robertson, another alumnus if the Spring 2017 Writer to Writter Session and catch up on her work.
A mammoth thank you to Peace Keenen for all her work on the Writer 2 Writer Conference reading.
New poet’s work I was introduced to: Elise Paschen. Her words rang with a cadence that not only touches you, but clings with you long afterwords. I hope to see much more of her in the future.
Overall, the conference was positive, though it did feel a lot different than in the past. Maybe some of that was that I was in my home turf. Hard to put my finger on it for sure.
Michael Allyn Wells - notes & musings