AWP 2016 (the conference for the Association of Writers & Writing Programs) in Los Angeles was la-la lovely. Marion and I flew out together, for the first time in all of these years of traveling to different cities. Our first bit of business? We discussed what our podcast from AWP would be about.
Literary Death Match? Could we ever have an experience close to the awesomeness of Mark Doty in Chicago? Tony Hoagland in Boston? Abraham Smith in Seattle? How about Chris Abani, Susan Orlean, Danez Smith, and Kirsten Valdez Quade in L.A.? And since it’s LA, let’s throw in some celebrities like, I dunno, Martin Starr, Lena Waithe, Michaela Watkins, and Zach Woods.
Sure, hot enough, but basically, we wanted to sit back and enjoy the show, and then immediately have umbrella drinks on the rooftop, so…what else could we talk about?
How crowded it was? Negative and boring.
How expensive it was? Negative and boring.
Should we interview our Uber drivers? Not a bad idea. But, when we thought just that much longer, probably about when we were flying over Wyoming, we thought about the AWP conference and everyone’s expectations, how overwhelming it can be to have so many choices, how undone one can become even when all of those choices are great, we thought about the bookfair.
We thought about how much we enjoy “camping out” at the bookfair, letting the attendees and our far-flung friends come to us, doing laps ourselves when we need to stretch. Yes. We’d hang out and the boofair and talk to people about…
Writing. What else? Tune in and hear what people are working on when they’re not swimming in the riches of the AWP conference.
John-Michael Peter Bloomquis, the founder and director of Poetry for Trash talked to us about his organization. Poetry for Trash goes to public parks and forests, installing stations where passerby can read a poem. The reader decides how much trash the poem is worth, and places the litter they find inside a trash bag. Poetry really is making the world a better place!
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