February 08, 2011

The AWP Conference in Washington DC.

Writing about web page http://www.awpwriter.org/

Book Fair AWP

Last week was the AWP conference and it was the first time that I have been able to attend. Thanks to the support of NAWE and my colleague, the poet Carrie Etter, I was able to get down to Washington DC and it certainly was eye-opening.

AWP Stuff

I have never seen a book fair quite like it: four rooms the size of football pitches full of stalls for magazines, writing associations, small presses and festivals. As a British person living in the US, it has taken me a while to work out the landscape of the American literary scene. Going round the book fair gave me a chance to have a good look at some American magazines that I had never come across before. Some of my favourites were “American Poetry Review”, “Camera Obscura”, “Crazy Horse” , “Pleiaides” “Third Coast” “Tin House” and “Rain Taxi”. I had a meagre amount to spend, but I managed to buy a copy of Mary Jo Bang’s latest from Graywolf and a lovely little anthology of Surrealist poems translated by Paul Eluard.

Apart from the book fair, there were readings and discussions by writers all day long. I saw a fantastic panel on Iranian writing and human rights, a reading by Cave Canem poets, Eavan Boland being interviews and a great panel of readings on women, poetry and war.

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