The Hermit Poet

March 2, 2009

Late AWP Report

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 2:20 pm

I’m realizing my favorite part of the AWP conference is meeting up with poet friends, fellow bloggers, and Boxcar contributors.  The panels and readings are nice, but since I spend most of my time manning the Boxcar table at the bookfair, these have become less important to me.  This year was much the same – especially since my other editors (Eduardo and Sara) couldn’t make it to Chicago.

Some highlights (mostly general):

  • discussion with my taxi cab driver about his desire to return to Dubai and run his own manufacturing or retail company (evidently he and his brother have done this a few times here in the US, but red tape, competition, and taxes here make it harder to turn a steady profit).
  • reading at the Kundiman panel with Aimee Nezhukmatathil, Oliver de la Paz, Sarah Gambito, Timothy Yu, and Ching-In Chen
  • seeing old Kundiman friends and hanging out for dinner and general mayhem in the evenings (trying to find a place for 19 people to hang out is hard to do in Chicago on Friday night)
  • the big chow down at the Hilton buffet in our separate dining area
  • meeting Brent Fisk, Brent Goodman, Margaret Baashar, and many other bloggers and Boxcar contributors for the first time
  • being berated in blank verse by a man who pronounced the verdict of “prosetry” on the poems in my book (just a bit on the eccentric side)
  • chatting with ice sculptors who were in town for the big ice carving festival which almost didn’t happen because the weather was too warm

Although I did my best to keep my book acquiring within reasonable bounds (didn’t want to ship anything home or get extra luggage), I did still come away with some great books.

Acquired this time (in sedimentary order from by latest stack of books):

  • Dark Thirty by Santee Frazier
  • Wild Flight by Christine Rhein
  • The Volcano Sequence by Alicia Ostriker
  • The Heart’s Traffic by Ching-In Chen
  • Wrong by Reginald Shepherd
  • The Pyramids of Malpighi by Steve Gehrke
  • Sad Jazz by Tony Barnstone
  • Ohio Violence by Alison Stine
  • Mistaken for Song by Tara Bray
  • Delivered by Sarah Gambito
  • Shy Green Fields by Hugh Behm-Steinberg
  • Letters to Guns by Brendan Constantine
  • Torched Verse Ends by Steven D. Schroeder

Santee Frazier’s Dark Thirty is especially good — I read it on my flight back and was quite blown away by it.  I’ll blog more about it later, but for now I’m looking forward to reading the rest of these over the next few months.

Chicago was fun and I’m looking forward to Denver next year.   Hopefully my other Boxcar people (Eduardo and Sara) can attend in 2010.

One Response to “Late AWP Report”

  1. Brent Says:


    What a pleasure meeting you too! Hey, I hope you enjoy Shy Green Fields as much as I did. It was my fav from my bookfair haul.



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