Friday, February 10, 2017

My geographically challenged inner flywheel again thwarted my momentary destiny in DC this morning when I got off the Metro too early and walked out on the wrong side of town.  It took a half hour of circumperambulation in fairly frigid weather before I reoriented to a bus-stop and used my Senior Citizen Metro Card to get back uptown to the Convention Center.  Adventures in getting there in a roundabout way.

Actually, it was a good experience. I saw a lot of the area south of the capitol and got some legwork in.  Also, I made it to the Gwendolyn Brooks Golden Shovel reading just in time and caught some really inspiring activity.  I got to meet Sandra Beasley and Major Jackson, two poets I really like.  They were really nice and their readings were polished and authoritative.  Wham.

This was my first AWP and it was right cool.  Thousands of writers swarming around.  Poetry at the book sale area as far as the eye could see.  Lots of African American poetry readings.  Catharsis.  All that sort of thing.  I'm overwhelmed by the number of poets there are.  Who knew?  Also, I got to meet people from three or four MFA programs.  I attended two why do an MFA discussions.  A lot of input!

At times, I felt like a snowflake, sometimes a cog in a giant wheel, turning.  You know, like that.

I was there for two of the 3 1/2 days of the conference and didn't attend anything after 4:00 either day.  I was limited by lodging far off-site.  For the future, I will book early and stay on-site.  It would be ideal to be able to go upstairs for awhile, go to evening events, etc.  Have folks upstairs for chats and brews, etc.

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