Friday, February 13, 2009

Overheard at AWP...

..."A couple of times I thought somebody was somebody, and they were."

Yeah, there are some somebodies here. But also, there are so many people here that if you think you are a special snowflake just because you write or even just because you've had a book published or whatever, you will quickly be disabused of that notion. I think that's probably good for a person now and then. Boy, there are a lot of poets with a lot of books. Also, if you're thinking about starting up a literary journal? Think again. Because we have a crapload of them! There are tables for journals I've never heard of, and I've heard of a heck of a lot of them.

Having a lovely time, though. Every time I turn around I meet another blogger or facebooker or somebody I know from Provincetown or someplace else. I've even run into somebody I know from my undergrad days!

By late afternoon I had a splitting sinus headache, so I retreated to my room and took some Excedrin and closed my eyes for a while -- as a result I missed the 7 pm offsite reading I wanted to go to (Lambda Literary Fellows, which I'm sure was very good) but was feeling better enough an hour later to go to the keynote speech, which was Art Spiegelman. The sinus headache that changed my plans was sort of a blessing in disguise, because Spiegelman's presentation was absolutely terrific, and helped me understand some things about the relationship between structure and time. That's vague, but I know what I mean by it, and it's making me think in new ways about my current project... can't ask for much more than that. Plus he's just a terrific speaker.

A bunch of people have said they are going to stop by my chapbook signing at 3:00 tomorrow, which is really cool! And if 25% of the people who said they're going to stop by actually do stop by, it will feel like a very successful signing. (I know that people often have very good intentions and then don't make it -- goodness knows I've failed to show at several things I meant to be there for, just today! -- I've been saying that I'll be happy if two or three people stop by and say hi during the hour I'm at the FLP table, and that is seriously how I feel about it.)

Other stuff I went to today: the book fair (duh), a panel on narrative distance in fiction (which really did help me understand some stuff for my current project), the NER reading (which was terrific -- 3 fiction writers and 3 fantastic poets [Jennifer Grotz, Carl Phillips, & Natasha Trethewey]), and a panel on online poetry communities. And the book fair again.

And I've heard bloggers describing crazy dreams they've had about other bloggers' hotel rooms, and hugged a whole bunch of people, and gushed to the point of inappropriateness about people's work that I like. (I seriously do mean it when I do that, I just don't know when to shut up sometimes. Better that than not knowing when to shut up when I'm saying things that aren't so nice... right?? *grin*) I still have a few people on my "people I really want to run into here" list, but not many at this point. It has surprised me how easy it is to run into people here.

There are a few things I want to do tomorrow, but mostly the Graywolf reading and the Diode/Anti- reading. And if anybody wants to do lunch or dinner, I really need to have a proper meal at some point; the trail mix & Luna bars in my room have saved me a lot of money yesterday & today, but I'm starting to feel the need for actual food! :)

No comments: