People who know me are probably sick of me whining and moaning over AWP in Chicago this year, because I can’t go even though it’s one of my favorite conferences in one of my favorite cities. But alas, it was not meant to be — even if I had managed to scrape together the cash and talk my bosses into giving me time away from the classroom, I wouldn’t have been able to do either before the conference sold out. I don’t mean the hotel rooms are gone — I mean the entire conference is so stuffed with attendees they had to stop registering people or they would have violated city fire codes! That’s for real. This year is going to be huge.
Actually, that doesn’t make missing it any easier, but at least I can say there wouldn’t have been room for me anyway. And besides, I’ll get plenty of awesome news from ALL the friends, fellow writers, and publishers I know who are attending. So that’s awesome.
To which end: if you’re attending AWP this week, do me a favor and tell people I said hi. That’s not a random request — I’m actually asking you to say hi to people for me. So when you’re at the bookfair, wondering if you have room in that spare suitcase you brought for just ONE MORE journal issue or book, stop by a few of the tables for me and tell them I wish I could have been there. And maybe buy a book or subscribe to a magazine while you’re there, because these are some cool people:
Not sure who’ll be attending who’d remember me, but I was production editor at ALR from 2005 to 2006, so drop by and tell them I still keep tabs on my old lit journal. And maybe look for my issues while you’re there.
Speaking of which: if you don’t find Ryan W. Bradley at his own table, you might find him here. Also look for head honcho and generally cool dude Victor David Giron, as well as everywhere-at-once super-lit rock star Ben Tanzer. (They know me from Facebook/all the friends we seem to have in common.)
If you happen to see Jill Patterson at this table, tell her I said hi. Maybe you’ll see Lee Martin there, too — I’ve only met him once, but he has strong ties to University of North Texas and used to work on ALR. Shake his hand. He’s a very cool person and a hell of a writer.
Look for Molly Gaudry, who is an absolute queen. Tell her so. Then buy some books. And check out their website before you go, because it’s pretty awesome.
Please, please, please do yourself the favor of meeting Hannah Tinti. She has long been one of my favorite people to run into at AWP, and the One Story readings are usually pretty killer.
I have the tremendous good fortune to appear in Sententia‘s best-selling issue, #3, their special “pitch” issue of novel excerpts. Grab a copy while you’re there. If you’re lucky, you’ll run into some of my fellow writers from that issue (Hosho McCreesh, are you going this year?), or maybe the excellent Shya Scanlon, who guest-edited that issue.
If you stopped by Sententia and picked up issue #3, chances are you’re a fan of Hosho McCreesh by now. He’s that awesome. So you’ll want to swing by sunnyoutside and look for a copy of his brilliant poetry collection, For All These Wretched, Beautiful, & Insignificant Things So Uselessly & Carelessly Destroyed… Also look for Rusty Barnes’s short fiction collection, Mostly Redneck. And, hell, anything else David McNamara has found fit to print. (And keep an eye out for announcements from sunnyoutside — rumor is they’re putting out two new books soon, and AWP is an excellent place to make the official announcement!)
UPDATE: The first announcement is out! Check out So Below, a collection of poems by Noel Sloboda, with original prints by Alicia Paolucci.
There are plenty of other tables you need to stop off at, too. Some are presses or journals I’ve long admired, others are places I recently discovered and wish I could visit this year myself:
- Annalemma Magazine
- Another Chicago Magazine
- Bellingham Review
- Black Warrior Review
- Burnside Review
- Camera Obscura Journal
- Cimarron Review
- Crazyhorse Literary Journal
- cream city review
- featherproof books
- Fifth Wednesday Journal
- Grist: The Journal for Writers
- Gulf Coast: A Journal of Literature and Fine Arts
- Mud Luscious Press
- New South
- Ninth Letter
- Portland Review
- Quarterly West
- Rose Metal Press
- Rougarou / UL Lafayette Creative Writing Program
- Sarabande Books
- Slice Magazine
- Spork Press
- The Chattahoochee Review
- The Southeast Review
- Third Coast Magazine
- Whiskey Island Literary Magazine
- Willow Springs
- Zephyr Press
For the full list of bookfair presenters, go here.
There are also some terrific off-site events (seriously — the conference is so sold out that even the publishers and magazines can’t get in!), including a big joint reading hosted by Mutable Sound, Artifice, and Smalldoggies.
Anyone I left out? Feel like promoting your magazine, press, reading, party, or other event? Or just telling everyone that you’re going so they’ll stop by and say hi? Feel free to leave a comment!