Midweek Notes from a Practicing Writer
Three quick things.
Lots of writers received news in recent days from the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) concerning the fate of their session proposals for the upcoming annual conference. In my case, the proposal I was part of was not accepted. (My co-panelists are mulling over the possibility of pitching a “roundtable” style article on our would-be session topic, which is connected to book promotion. We shall see.)
Truthfully, I’m not all that disappointed.
Traveling to the conference (this year, in San Antonio, Texas) would have required a lot of resource investment that I will now direct elsewhere. In fact, I’m already looking into another event, much closer to home, which is scheduled around the same time, and where I’m more likely to be able to rustle up some complementary book events for myself.
What I will miss, though, will be the chance to meet up with friends I typically see only, or most often, at this conference.
But more and more, I’ve come to sense that the conference and I have grown apart. It’s too big. I’m no longer invested in “academic” creative writing in the way I once was. In many ways, both the AWP conference and I have changed—and we no longer have quite so much in common.
When it’s nearby, I’ll likely continue to drop in (even if I purchase only the Saturday day pass so I can walk the aisles of the Bookfair and arrange to see friends off-site the rest of the time). But when it’s happening as far away as San Antonio—not to mention in a state with far more relaxed gun laws than I’d prefer were in place these days—and I have no formal role or institutional funding—the AWP conference becomes an option I’m unlikely to pursue.
2. New Poem
ICYMI: A new poem of mine, “Complicity,” appeared on the 929 website on Sunday. (It’s a poem that’s included in Birthright, my forthcoming collection.) I was delighted to see it sharing webpage space with some friends’ work published the same day. Brief explanation and links over on the My Machberet blog.
3. Recommended Reading
I’m slowly making my way through the late Amos Oz’s A Tale of Love and Darkness (trans. Nicholas de Lange). It is extraordinary. What a talent. What a soul.
My big challenge is going to be selecting excerpts for my students (I’m not going to assign the entire book).
If you’ve read it, I don’t need to explain anything. But if it’s unfamiliar, you might become acquainted with it over on The Complete Review website.