For me, AWP (Association of Writers & Writing Programs) is usually a mix of excellence and exhaustion, so I give you a list of all the excellent I encountered at this year’s conference.
1. Welcome booth sponsored by Rain Taxi at the Minneapolis airport
2. Fun sights seen on my way from airport to hotel: giant mural of sheet music on a brick building, penguins from the film Madagascar peering out of an office window, statue of Mary Richards & a little boy in a batman costume.
3. Friendly helpful staff at the Millennium Hotel where I made my home for four nights.
4. A king sized bed. Hello.
5. Electronic AWP registration via email confirmation #
6. The AWP app.
7. The skywalk. YES.
8. A sturdy tote.
9. Dinner with Sam Snoek Brown
11. Participating as contributor to “The Full Time Professorship: From Application to Hire to Continuing Life as Writer” panel.
12. The Two-Year College Caucus and networking with community college colleagues.
13. The book fair.
14. Attending the “The Bigness of the Small Poem” panel.
15. Seeing my former mentor & poetry professor from Allegheny, Christopher Bakken.
16. Buying books and having them signed by amazing poets.
17. Meeting folks face to face to that I know through Twitter & Facebook.
18. Attending the “Publishing Sucks, Even When You’re Good At It” panel. I laughed. A lot.
19. Meeting Marie, Kaylie and a bunch of previous contributors at the 30/30 Meet & Greet.
20. Walking the greenway through Loring Park on a beautiful, spring Saturday in Minneapolis.
21. Spending a few hours at the Walker Art Center & Sculpture Garden. Free admission!
22. Writing a 30/30 poem inspired by a sculpture in the Sculpture Garden at the Walker Art Center. I also drafted said poem sitting outdoors, in the sunshine at a picnic table when it was snowing the day before.
25. Discovering a plethora of moose merchandise at the Minnesota gift shop at the airport.
I am now home, sitting on my couch while my dog sleeps on the love seat, my finches chatter from the kitchen and my husband types on his computer. I had a glorious time in Minneapolis but I’m glad to be home and I can’t wait to start working through the stack of books I brought home from the book fair. Below is a list of titles and books I picked up (complete with links):