AWP REPORT 2: Another exhausting day at AWP. I think I should be having fun, but this just hasn't been that much fun. There's too many people, too many egos and way too much going on. I went over this morning and worked the Atlanta Review/Poetry Atlanta table. I sold a few books, which was nice, but I was amazed at the number of people coming up (some of whom were mistaking me for Atlanta Review editor Dan Veach) wanting to hand me poems or manuscripts. I heard from a few other folks that a lot of grad and MFA students were prowling the book fair with manuscripts in hand hoping to foist it off on an editor(s). While I fully believe in pushing and promoting your work, I even balk at that.
The best part about today was meeting and talking to a lot of folks I hadn't seen in awhile, or who I keep up with via there blogs. C. Dale Young came by the table when I was there and I went over later when he was signing his new book, The Second Person, at the Four Way Books table. A lovely guy. Patricia Smith and I kept running into each other all afternoon as we made it around the book fair. I had coffee and a minute of downtime with my buddy/fellow poet Karen Head. I went up and stood in the back for a few minutes to hear Terrance Hayes and Charles Wright, but it was packed and I was just wiped out. I had planned to stick around the hotel until 6:30 to take Peter Pereira and Ann Fisher-Wirth over to the Portfolio Center reading, but I went home for a couple hours instead.
The reading at PC was good. Had maybe 20 people there, but I wasn't expecting more. There were half a dozen readings and receptions, not to mention the massive "Other Poets Gathering" at Eyedrum. Sigh. Peter and Ann gave brilliant readings. Copper Canyon Press sold out of Peter's book, What's Written on the Body, at their table at AWP! It's really fabulous. Ann's new work was very moving. We went to dinner afterwards and were all just wiped out.
I'm off to bed myself. A full day tomorrow with my reading in the morning and the Poets & Writers panel in the afternoon. Sweet dreams.