Sunday, April 03, 2005
I have to admit all the talk about AWP in the blogworld makes me very jealous. Last year I had a great time spending way too much at the book fair, going to panels, taking in readings. And while I was willing to take a train downtown to attend, I wasn't sure if I was ready for a major trip and crossing international borders to go. Now, I'm almost regretting my decision not to. Although the tone, as would be expected, was a bit over-academic, it was amazing to know that the entire Palmer House hotel was just literally busting with writers, sitting in restaurants downtown, spilling out onto the streets. So many writers in one place was just awe-inspiring, even if I was so quiet I hardly talked to anyone except folks I already knew. Just the idea that there were so many of us in one geographic spot. I think lots of people will back me up on this, but it always seems like it's a rather lonely line of work--especially if you live somewhere other than city or place with a thriving arts community. To see all those poets and fiction writers in one place made me feel a little less like some weird outcast. It made it feel as if writing were as legitimate as any career--as if we were the same as a convention of dentists, or lawyers, or some other profession. Not me just playing around with words and living in my little fantasy life.