Thursday, March 08, 2018

notes & things | 3/8/18

As I mentioned a couple posts ago, AWP was planned for (a spot at the awesome Whale Prom offsite bookfair, maybe some readings, a cute little pink hotel at the beach) but then financials and travel plans got iffy and the costs outweighed the benefits, but even though I am not at AWP, I am waxing nostalgic about AWPs of yore, including Seattle's (2014) where I stayed at chez Menacing Hedge and had an amazing time with other poets and editors.  The time in Chicago (2012) where I stayed drinking into the wee hours under the glorious ceiling of the Palmer House lobby and then got lost trying to get out of the building and onto the street. That first AWP (2004) where I wandered slack jawed through panels and bookfairs and virtually knew no one. The super swanky Marriot in Atlanta (2007) , where my parents joined me on the road trip and where the burgers in the hotel restaurant were $17. How lucky I've been to share tables with Switchback Books and Arsenic Lobster (all Columbia connections), and last time it was in Chicago, to host a big open studio and books signings right in the studio. How amazing it's been over time to have a chance, every once in a while, to meet the people I spend so much time with online.

So no, I am not going to AWP, and part of me is sullen, but also a little  consoled at the same time that the introverted anxiety of attending has been abated. So I watch from afar, alternately jealous and relieved, sometimes at the same time. Instead, tonight we hosted an amazing artist panel for our APOCALYPSE, USA exhibit that was our best attended by far, and the subject veered off mere subject matter and into marketing oneself as an artist and collaborations and gallery-system alternatives. Artists are always so different than poets, more like artists know there is possibly money to be made, one just has to find their niche. Poets know there is no money to be made in the least, and yet, we still persevere. It's like a truffle pig in a field where there are no mushrooms and we are well aware of it .

Instead of going to AWP, I will spend the weekend writing and maybe painting and finishing off Game of Thrones. I will make soup and drink too much coffee and listen to good (and bad) music. I will sequester myself in my little introvert bubble and see what comes of it.

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