Monday, April 01, 2019

AWP 2019 (Think No One Is Reading Books and Litmags Anymore?)

By C.M. Mayo

After attending for more years than I can count, I swore off the annual conference of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs after Seattle 2014 in lieu of fewer, more narrowly focused, and smaller writers conferences. If you’re not familiar with it, AWP is huger than H*U*G*E, with an eye-addling and foot blister-inducing bookfair, plus endless panels, scads of receptions (free cheese cubes!), readings, and more readings, and even more readings. Finding friends at AWP oftentimes feels like trying to meet up at Grand Central Station at rush hour. Of the few panels that do appeal, dagnabbit, they somehow occupy the same time slot. Then try finding a table for an impromptu group of 13 on Friday at 7 PM! But sometimes, never mind, it all aligns beautifully and you can find friends and inspiration and new friends and all whatnot!