Friday, March 9, 2018

AWP: Thursday Report

Yesterday was an amazing day.  I think back to when I looked at the schedule of events at the AWP conference and thought that I couldn't find much I wanted to attend.  Yesterday I did not have that problem.

I began the day at a session entitled " The Body's Story: On Writing Narratives of Illness."  The presenters had a variety of illnesses which they learned to work with and work around.  It's an interesting question:  when the dominant illness narrative involves a happy ending with the disease beaten, what do we do if we don't have that experience?  It was also interesting to think about the difference between disability and disease, the intersections and the separations.

Word of the day:  intersectionality.

I went to a session on poets who write prose and how the processes inform each other.  I was interested in the topic, but also interested in seeing Marilyn Chin and Jill Bialosky, two writers whom I've read.  Much to my surprise, Joy Harjo was there too.  Her name was not in the book of a schedule that I consulted all day.  At times I felt breathless to be in the presence of such talent.

Next I went to a session on resources for older women writers.  The room was full, and the energy was good.

I ended the day of presentations by going to a session  "Superconductors: Poets and Essayists Channeling Science."  It was a great session, but during the Q and A, I was mortified when my cell phone went off not once but twice.  I thought I had turned it to vibrate, but I neglected to hit the OK button.  I have a flip phone, not a smart phone.  On days like yesterday, my phone seems quite dumb--or maybe it's the user.

Throughout the day I wrote down authors and titles--and I bought Leslie Pietrzyk's latest novel Silver Girl.  I started reading it last night, and I'm enthralled. I bought it at the Bookfair, which is huge and overwhelming, but there's enough space so at least it's not claustrophobic.  I should go explore further.

I love the Bookfair for reminding me of how many publishers exist and how many journals there are.  I always feel like I should be taking notes.  Perhaps I will.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am living vicariously through you at this conference.