I got back the other day from AWP, and I have to say I'm still exhausted. I got to meet some fascinating people and have some great conversations, but I'm glad to be back home in Texas. I flew in Wednesday and registered and that was about it. Things really started the next day. I went to a few panels and got to see Claudia Rankine give an amazing speech that night about the need for diversity in MFA programs across the country. It was truly moving. Everyone was talking about it for the rest of the conference.
On Friday I got to see some old friends from Arizona. We went to Musso and Frank's grill in Hollywood and had a great meal and a wonderful time. Rob, Bobby, Daniel--it was wonderful seeing you all again. Let's not wait so long next time.
Saturday was the final day. I went around and bough a bunch of new literary journals and met some folks at the literary journals I subscribe to. I got to have a nice talk with Scott Blackwood and Matthew Thomas. Both of whom were warm and engaging. I also got to meet up with Octavio Quintanilla and Brian Allen Carr from Texas. We didn't get to hang out as much as I wished, but we were all busy people. Later that night the conference closed with Joyce Carol Oates interviewing herself about her writing and her newest book, The Man Without a Shadow. I had never seen Oates in person, but I found her to be lively and energetic and humorous. I got her to sign my book before I left.
I had a great time in Los Angeles. I didn't get to do everything I wanted to, but that's why AWP will be in Washington D.C. next year. I can't wait!
Writer living in the hill country of Texas