I never managed to catch up with all the people I hoped to, I enjoyed the bookfair so much I didn’t see any panels, I didn’t manage to arrive on time 2 out of 3 mornings, but besides all that, AWP was, somewhat unexpectedly, a ton of fun! We have a pile of new books from a few quick trips around the fair—including a new subscription to Tin House and more poetry than I’ve gotten in ages. It was invigorating to spend three days with 13,000(!) people who care deeply in one way or another about words on pages. (Not as much chat about ebooks as expected, none about the possible horrors of the used ebook market, yay!)
We stayed with friends (to whom we are very grateful!) and Kelly’s mom looked after Ursula (and brought her in on Saturday when the fair was open to everyone) which made the whole thing much more relaxed.
Friday there was a snowstorm so I was late. On Saturday morning smoke started coming out of the ceiling of the T at Fenway. “Driver, there’s smoke in here,” someone shouted. Doors opened: we all trooped out. Looked like a long wait, walked in.
Our neighbors in the fair were the very lively H_ngm_n Books on one side and our real-life near neighbors, the excellent Perugia Press. I am very happy to say that somewhere in that 13,000 people there is a contingent who read books from H_ngm_n, Small Beer, and Perugia.
We talked to hundreds of people and I owe apologies to some people for the times when I could not stop my anti-Am*zon invective: sorry. (They really do want to put everyone else out of business and all the fun out of life. Ya boo sucks to them.)
We sold out of LCRW on the second day: awesome! Wish I had brought more but it was—again—invigorating to meet so many readers.
I can’t even begin to list the excellent people I met. Wait, I can. People from: Paris Press, One Story, Milkweed, McNally Jackson, Porter Square Books, Coffee House (got a copy of Raymond McDaniel’s new superhero-themed poetry collection(!) Special Powers and Abilities and Geronimo Johnson’s excellent sounding New Orleans novel, Hold It ‘Til It Hurts—which is one of two Coffee House titles, the other being Laird Hunt’s Kind One, up for the Pen/Faulkner Award!), Shape & Nature, Eleven Eleven, Unstuck, Biblioasis, oh, wait, no I can’t list everyone. Sore hands and: Lists = I will miss people, sorry friends! And! We just added Puerto del Sol over on Weightless so while I met tons of people from New Mexico State U., I am kicking myself for missing the Puerto del Sol table. Argh, mea culpa. Didn’t take photos. Argh x 2.
It turns out tons of our books are being taught in schools around the country, including Karen Joy Fowler’s What I Didn’t See and Other Stories, Georges-Olivier Châteaureynaud’s A Life on Paper, Ted Chiang’sStories of Your Life and Others, and others including pretty much all of Kelly’s books. For which I say to all those teachers: it was awesome and heartening to hear that you are reading and teaching and studying these books. Thank you!
And that’s it. Thanks to everyone who stopped by to say hi. Hope you got home ok and that you too went home with some books you’re looking forward to reading.