AWP 2014 — It’s a Wrap
Imagine one of those ven diagrams: three intersecting circles where one circumscribes introverts, the second agoraphobics, and the third misanthropes. That little dot where the three intersect: that’s me. They could do a “Hoarders” episode on the way I covet private time; I loathe crowds of any kind (a crowd is any more than two other people who I don’t know within ten feet of my person); and as for the misanthropy part, well I don’t hate people nearly as much as some other writers I admire or your garden-variety politicians do, I just wish they’d go do all that rude obnoxious crap they do over there some place. Preferably next to you.
All of which is to say that three days with 14,000 people in a confined space is not my idea of fun. Except that it was rather fun, really: Despite my snarky tweets and despite having had to navigate the Seattle Convention Center with earbuds in and glasses off (i.e., intentionally blind and deaf—also my go-to strategies for the grocery store, the mall, the airport or for walking from my car to anywhere at SMU) I had a wonderful time at AWP, largely due to innumerable conversations with so many friends from so many different parts of my various lives. Everything from long talks over dinner to quick hugs in the hallway.
And then there’s all those books. I sat with friends at a publisher’s table in the book fair and found it heartening how many folks stopped by, browsed a bit and found something by someone they’d always wanted to read, opened their wallet and bought it.
And then there’s all those beautiful words, so generously shared. I saw a woman so moved by a poem that she was absolutely undone. Had to throw up her hands and call it a day.
Nicely done, AWP. All of this is put together largely through the efforts of a shockingly small full-time staff plus a few interns. It’s an honor to serve on the board that helps to support their work. If you’re not a member, please consider joining, and if you are a member, please consider adding AWP to your lists of organizations to support with an annual contribution.
Above, that’s me and fellow board member Sheryl St. Germain having “office hours” in the convention hall.