Wednesday, March 7, 2007

AWP Recap

I didn’t go to any sessions, seminars, presentations, panels--whatever you call them. So if that's what you want to hear about, you’ll have to ask someone else. I spent the entire time at the bookfair--at our table or looking at other tables. Dennis went to a reading by George Mason University’s MFA poetry faculty. All of them were teachers of ours, except one who replaced Carolyn Forche after we left. Chris went to a session that featured a panel of literary agents. Most of the audience consisted of fiction writers, I guess, so I don't know if he found it worthwhile or not. Maybe he and Dennis will report to you in a post (hint, hint).

Bookfair (and Books I Bought)
The bookfair was pretty solid. Last year, the convention center in Austin was too big. The booths were too spread out, and our booth was in a shitty spot along the edge of the room, far away from the entrance, so fewer people made it over to us. This year was better. The room was smaller, so the aisles were more densely packed with people. As with every year, the room is usually full before, between and after sessions. We were positioned next to Richard Peabody's booth and across from The Chattahoochee Review. Thanks to their crew for letting us eat their brownies (the regular kind).

I spent more money buying books than buying booze this year. That's obviously not true, but you get the idea. Books I bought:

  1. Bone Pagoda by Susan Tichy (Ahsahta Press)
  2. Reliquaries by Eric Pankey (Ausable Press)
  3. Talk Shows by Monica de la Torre (Switchback Books)
  4. A bunch of chapbooks (Ocutpus Books)

I've read about half of Bone Pagoda so far. Susan was a teacher of ours at George Mason U, so I've been looking forward to her book coming out. Eric also was a teacher of ours, so that's another one I'm looking forward to reading.

I'm really interested in Talk Shows, because I'm excited about Switchback Books. When we met Brandi Homan in Austin last year, she was an attendee. Now Brandi and friends are exhibitors at the bookfair with their very own press.

The last thing I wanted to buy before I left was a chapbook by Jen and co-author Erika Howsare published by Octupus Books. I went to their table to buy it and came away with eight chapbooks instead. They all looked so good that I had to have them. Something I noticed at AWP (let’s call it a trend) is that a lot of people bought chapbooks. We had some of horse less press’ chapbooks on our table, and a few of Ivy’s and one of Jason’s—people were consistently drawn to them. I started seeing them everywhere. It made me wonder whether we should have been a chapbook publisher :)

More to come...


1 comment:

Ivy said...

RMP and Switchback Books are mentioned in this blog. :-)