Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Countdown to AWP 2013: If You were Me on March 8

This is the second installment in the "Countdown to AWP 2013" here on What She Might Think.  And while I'm not attending the conference this year, I am somewhat pretending that I am going to Boston, and sharing the events that I would want to attend.  Because a number of my old friends are attending this year's edition, the conference has been more on my radar than usual.

To see my selections for Thursday's events, see "Countdown to AWP 2013: If You Were Me on March 7." For suggestions on where to stay outside of the conference hotel, since it's booked anyway, see "Youth Hostels in Boston."

Friday, March 8

9:00-10:15 A.M.
"Get a Hold of Your Writing: 
Book Arts in the Classroom"
Room 204, Level 2

Presenters: Meryl DePasquale, Emily Brandt, Genevieve Kaplan, Richard Mathews, Carol Ann Johnston
Provisions by Frances Raven, 
the uniquely made and handbound books by Interbirth Books

Summary: This discussion will revolve around the creation of books, chapbooks, and broadsides and the benefits of teaching book design in the Creative Writing classroom.

Why I would attend: I attempted to have students create an anthology of work that they each selected and then designed.  As this was my first time assigning the project, it would be useful to hear other thoughts about the process. Secondarily, I have always had an interested in creating books, from my pre-literate days when my mother made books out of my thoughts.  If you haven't, check out these two awesome presses whose books are created by hand: Interbirth Books and Little Red Leaves (especially look at the textile series by LRL).

Conflict: "In Sickness and In Health: Literature at the Intersection of Medicine, Science, and the Arts" (Room 203, Level 2).  This would be a difficult panel to miss because it's closer to my interests as a writer and my more recent interests as a reader.  Since it's right next door to the other panel, I'd probably have to peek into both rooms before deciding.

10:30-11:45 A.M.
"Art of the Ending"

Writers: Miles Harvey, Amy Hempel, Michele Morano, William Lychack, Scott Blackwood

Summary: The writers will discuss the problematic situation that comes with ending a work, especially in terms of closure and reader wishes.

Why I Would Attend: While I have more trouble with beginnings than endings, one of my professors in college gave several excellent lectures/discussions on endings in short fiction, and ever since then, I have become very vigilant about my endings and the endings of others (in real life and in fiction).  And I think there's much about the endings in poetry that fiction can learn from, and so it would be good to listen in on this.  

Conflict: "Show and Tell: Audio and Video Production 101" (Room 312, Level 3). It's like a mini-workshop on how to do the basic things that writers often need to do by themselves for online marketing.

Noon-1:15 P.M.
"How to Catch a Pair of Flying Hands:
A Reading by Deaf Writers"

Writers: Raymond Luczak, Kristen Harmon, Allison Polk, Kristen Ringman
Summary: The writers will read their work, but the AWP description makes it unclear whether the writers will discuss their work afterward.
Why I Would Attend: Two of the three essays I teach in English 101 revolve around Deafness, and I'm interested in what works the writers will choose to share since the panel title and AWP description is focused more on the aspect of the writers' deafness than their work.
Conflict: "A Poetry Reading by Four of Ireland's Most Dynamic Younger Poets," Bookfair Stage, Exhibit Hall A, Plaza Level. Of course, it will be a while before I'm in the same room as these people, so this would be my second choice.

1:30-2:45 P.M.

"A Reading by the 2011 AWP Award Series Winners"
Room 107, Plaza Level

Writers: Marcia Aldrich, Kirstin Scott, Laura Read, Corinna Vallanatos
Summary: Each year AWP holds a writing contest in poetry, short fiction, the novel, and creative non-fiction: The writers who won the 2011 contest had their winning manuscripts in late 2012, and many are on tour for those books right now. 
Why I Would Attend: My friend and colleague Laura Read is presenting, and so I would be there.

3:00-4:15 P.M.
"Don DeLillo & Dana Spiotta: 
A Reading and Conversation"

Veterans Memorial Auditorium, Level 2

Summary: Self-explanatory.
Why I Would Attend: I've read several DeLillo novels, have found all of them interesting, smart, and good, and so I would like to hear his voice through the sentences.  He's also going to talk after, and I wonder what he'll say.  He writes some of the most fantastic dialogue I've read. 

4:30-5:45 P.M.

"Alison Bechdel & Jeanette Winterson:
A Reading and Conversation"
Veterans Memorial Auditorium, Level 2

Summary: Self-explanatory
Why I Would Attend: The first college class I ever skipped was at Columbia College in Chicago.  It was a beautiful, sunny day, and even though it was my poetry class, it was a three hour class.  I spent the day on the beach of Lake Michigan reading Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson (a book recommended, in fact, by my poetry instructor).  That was one of the most wonderful days of my life. 

6:00 P.M. and on

While there are a number of events scheduled after this (many more than on Thursday night), such as a conversation with Richard Russo, but I'd probably have to end my AWP experience for the day and go on a long walk to decompress--especially after having just heard Don DeLillo and Jeanette Winterson back-to-back.  To see the complete schedule for Friday, click here.  For off-site events, click here.

Stay tuned for my Saturday selections.
What's one of the Friday events that you would have to attend, and why?

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