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AWP, dislocated // David LeGault

So I'm still recovering from the recent AWP Conference in Denver. It was a great opportunity to hear a lot of interesting talks on writing and shmooze with famous writers. Better yet, a few of the writers appearing in the upcoming issue of dislocate stopped by to say hello.

I've been trying to figure out the best way to recap my thoughts on the conference, but I think our Twitter feed of the conference covers it better than I possibly could. I've included all the posts from the conference below, including the necessary annotations:

1) First impression: so many satchels! 12:47 PM Apr 8th via txt
As I entered the convention center, I cracked a joke about how everyone (literally everyone) within my line of sight had some sort of leather messenger bag. It was funny until I remembered I too was wearing one, and then it was just kind of sad.

2) Fact: this year's totes are inferior to last year's 1:25 PM Apr 8th via txt
Seriously. They were some cheaper fabric, and without the zipper they couldn't be used as a carry-on for all those writers going home with a huge stack of books.

3) Jessica piazza, barrelhouse rep, challenges all to a dance fight. 2:11 PM Apr 8th via txt
Barrelhouse is doing a lot of great things with their journal: putting out solid writing that doesn't take itself so seriously. Plus, they were willing to put their reputation on the line at the AWP official dance party (more on this later).

4) #awp10 yet to hear a good question at the end of a panel. share the worst questions you've ever heard! 4:09 PM Apr 8th via txt
Although there are a ton of interesting panel discussions, the Q&A sections at the end are always awful, if not all-out embarrassing. Usually, they consist of self-serving questions ("well, in MY book, INSERT-TITLE/PUBLISHER HERE") or comments that make it evident that the audience member wasn't paying attention for the last hour and a half.

5) #awp10 Three cups of coffee + pulled pork sandwich= panel discussion in my innards 4:38 PM Apr 8th via txt
Did anyone actually buy those sandwiches? 9 dollars for a hot dug bun full of something vaguely resembling meat. I bought a Mountain Dew that cost like 4 dollars and never went back. Shame on you, vendors.

6) #awp10 hobart giving out 2 back issues, a shot of whiskey AND shot glass, all for 5 bucks. These guys rock. 5:31 PM Apr 8th via txt
One of the joys of the AWP book fair is discovering new journals that simply blow us away. Hobart is definitely one of them.

7)"Black warrior review loves 20 dollar bills" -bwr editor 1:03 PM Apr 8th via txt
I asked BWR for a quote about the conference, and they had just sold a number of subscriptions, and the pile of 20's was fairly substantial. Glad to see someone making some money here!

8) #awp10 fact: awp dance party = most glorious trainwreck. ever. 11:32 PM Apr 8th via txt
Imagine a couple hundred socially awkward writers. Now, imagine free, seemingly unlimited supplies of alcohol and a DJ playing some booty-shaking music. I went as a spectator and was simply blown away by it. (Rumor has it George Saunders showed up on the last night, but regrettably I didn't go that night)

9)"AWP is getting weird" -some drunk dude awkwardly grinding 11:41 PM Apr 8th via txt
See #8

10) #awp10 overheard: "i never expected a book fair to be this awkward." 10:26 AM Apr 9th via txt
Imagine those socially awkward writers from the night before. Now take away the alcohol and make them talk to each other. Yikes. Maybe we should go back to dancing?

11)#awp10 "the erotic poem is a vibrator made of words." -tony barnstone 11:04 AM Apr 9th via txt
One of many terrific quotes from the panel discussions.

12) #awp10 "i really like dislocate's shirt. also what's underneath it." -ander monson 11:50 AM Apr 9th via txt
Did anyone else check out Diagram's issue on a Deck of Cards? I love this journal.

13)#awp10 "for us to shed language we must shed our humanity"- brian laidlaw 1:48 PM Apr 9th via txt

14)#awp10 AWP Bingo target="_blank">http://wewhoareabouttodie.com/2010/04/08/your-official-awp-conference-bingo-card/ 8:31 AM Apr 10th via web
This is simply amazing. I think I Bingo'ed three or four times the day I discovered this.

15) #awp10 "writing biography is a satisfying circle of hell" -honor moore 9:34 AM Apr 10th via txt
As a nonfiction writer, I can agree/commiserate.

16) #awp10 "writing memoir is the equivalent of getting a 5 quart enema" -from the women writing memoir panel 10:20 AM Apr 10th via txt
See #15

17) #awp10 p73 poetry foundation ad in program: i liked this idea better when dislocate did it six months ago! 10:26 AM Apr 10th via txt
dislocate had a series of Mad Lib style re-imaginings of famous essays in preparation for our "Contaminated Essay Contest." A few months later, the Poetry Foundation is doing the same at their table. Coincidence? Probably.

18) #awp10 bummed the artists book exhibited was cancelled, wished more writers took note of the form 10:34 AM Apr 10th via txt
Super bummed that this exhibit didn't happen. I'll probably write more about the artist book later, possibly next week.

19) #awp10 "writing is an art, but publishing is a business"-rebecca skloot 11:16 AM Apr 10th via txt

20)#awp10 benjamin percy has the world's deepest voice 2:08 PM Apr 10th via txt
Deepest voice I've ever experienced, like sub-Barry White, like playing Tuba in marching band, like his stories are amazing and you should go read or re-read them immediately.

21) #awp10 "the ebook wont happen overnight, just like the opposable thumb didnt" 3:28 PM Apr 10th via txt
True, but for the time being, we love our books as artifacts.