This conference is a trip! I drove up from Seattle, settled in my room (very nice hotel, btw), and hopped over to the Hyatt across the street to "register" (basically they hand you a name tag and a black book bag with the AWP logo and a program the size of a small city's telephone book inside) and to check out the book fair. Ran in to an old friend, Allen Braden (wonderful poet, he got an NEA this year) and wandered the "miles of aisles" of books. Chatted with AJ Rathbun of LitRag, Ted Genoways of VQR, Chase Twichell at Ausable, Kelly at Prairie Schooner, and the wonderful folks at Alice James and Lyric, and so many others I can't remember. Spent way too much money on books, but what the heck. I like to read. Ran into a few fellow bloggers: Laurel Snyder (very nice) and Anthony Robinson (who looked exactly like his picture).
Then I went on to Copper Canyon's booth, and said hi to Michael Wiegers & Kirsten, and put out some fliers for tonight's library reading (as it is "off-site" and not in the program). And by then I was maxed out, and needing to decompress, and went back to my room and had a very relaxing shower. Ahhh . . .
Went to the PLU Rainier Low-Residency program open house for a few minutes, where I saw Kelli Agodon, and Holly Hughes, and Stan Ruben and Judith Kitchen, and others. Then met up with C Dale and Jacob in the "Club Lounge" upstairs for delightful little hors d'houvres and cocktails. C Dale you make a great Cosmo! He and Jacob are so sweet and funny: we just laughed and laughed. I wish Dean had been there to meet them.
Went to dinner with Susan Rich, after the two of us missing connections several times. I was just about to give up and head off with Allen B. and Derek Sheffield and a large group, when I turned around: and there she was holding her umbrella into the wind on the corner of Georgia and Burrard (it was really windy and rainy last night). We went to see the Central Library where we'll be reading tonight (it's only 5 blocks from the Fairmont, at 350 W. Georgia). It is an amazing beautiful and spacious modern building, sort of shaped like two apostrophes hugging each other, with lots of glass in-between the two wings. Even if you don't go to the reading, make sure to check out this building. It's not as daring as the new Seattle Public Library, but it is very cool-looking.
Susan and I had dinner at Aria, and talked about how it was all going at the conference so far. We both are a little daunted by the buzzing din of it all. She has enjoyed several presentations: but you can only sit through so much before needing to move on. We shared a yummy caesar salad, she had prawns I had scallops; but the pasta was a little over cooked and I left most of it behind (who needs all the carbs anyway). Finished the evening back at the hotel in the lobby bar (which was just packed with AWP-ers) having Spanish coffees.
Today my plan is to actually go to some presentations (hehehe). There are 15 (Fifteen!) concurrent sessions every 2 hours or so. So much to choose from; how can one decide? Hopefully I'll find something inspiring. I'd love to get some new ideas, some new writing done.
Other bloggers: if you're here, say hi. And come to my reading at 5PM at the library tonite.