Monday, September 09, 2019

“Advice for Writers”: Spotlight on US Poet, Playwright and Translator Zack Rogow, and His Mega-Rich Resource of a Blog

By C.M. Mayo
This blog posts on Mondays. As of 2019 the second Monday of the month is devoted to my writing workshop students and anyone else interested in creative writing. (You can find my workshop schedule and many more resources for writers on my  workshop page.)
This past spring I attended the Associated Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) annual conference and bookfair, where I read from Meteor, my book of poetry, as part of the Gival Press 20th anniversary celebration. AWP is not for the FOMO-ly challenged. In the crowd of 15,000+ conference-goers I missed many events and many friends, among them the poet, playwright and translator Zack Rogow. And it didn’t seem at all right to have missed Rogow for, the last time I was at AWP, it was to participate on his panel with Mark Doty and Charles Johnson, “Homesteading on the Digital Frontier: Writers’ Blogs,” one of the crunchiest conference panels ever. (You can read the transcript of my talk about blogs here.)

Should you try to attend AWP next spring 2020 in San Antonio? Of course only you know what’s right for you. But I can say this much: AWP can be overwhelming, an experience akin to a fun house ride and three times through the TSA line at the airport with liquids… while someone drones the William Carlos Williams white chickens poem… AWP can also prove Deader than Deadsville, if what you’re after is, say, an agent for your thriller. Book Expo it ain’t. 
On the bright side, however, Zack Rogow attends AWP. He is one of the most talented and generous poets and translators I know. Watch this brief documentary about his life and work and I think you’ll understand why I say this: