Thursday, March 15, 2012

AWP Day II, Part 2!

Ok so maybe I haven't been the best of blogger lately, and maybe I apologize.

But I've been having a rush of poems!

It feels fantastic X-D Ok, more like a little maddening, but also fantastic. I've written 3 poems in the past 5 days, 3 POEMS. That's really fast for me... I'm a pokey poet in general.

Ok, back to the AWP story...

After stopping by the Crab Orchard Review table, I realized I had just a little bit of time before the ONE panel I was really looking forward to seeing. So I head on over to the Alice James Books table (which, is probably my favorite major press) to just meet the editors, and see what they've got forthcoming. I start fiddling through the books, and look up to see a familiar face. Huh? Do I know you?

It was Stacy Gnall! No, I didn't know her, but gosh she looked familiar! And then, sitting in front of her was a stack of suspiciously familiar looking books... Heart First into the Forest. The book I reviewed for BOXCAR a few weeks back! Ah hah... we talk a little bit about MFAs and PhDs and other alphabet soups of degrees. She was actually really nice. It was great to meet her in person :)

Ok! So then I head over to the ballroom to the panel "Literary Necromancy" hah! It was an interesting title, but an even more interesting panel. I walk in, take a seat, and guess who I find? Molly Peacock! I get to talk to her JUST A LITTLE BIT  before the panel begins, and I get to thank her for the lovely lovely blurb she provided for my forthcoming book.

The panel was actually REALLY informative for me. There were four biographers, and they talked about how they went about writing the story of someone else's life: ethical concerns, formal issues, and research stuff. It was a pleasure hearing Molly talk about her process for writing, talk about how she had gotten to know her subject's living ancestors, and the story of how her subject chose her. Now I'm even more convinced that I have to read The Paper Garden! It's been on my reading list for awhile. Molly said the subject was close to her heart; that there were amazing parallels between her life and Ms. Delany. Which... got me to thinking about a certain project that's been up my sleeve for the past year or so that (like much of everything else) is just a silly little idea in my pretty little head.

ANYWAY! I had to sneak out of the panel a little early, regrettably, because I had my own panel to head off to. And boy, was it fantastic! I arrived and found my ladies standing outside the room. At this point, I'm getting just a little nervous. I'm going through what I'm supposed to say and do in my mind, running through everything, hoping and praying I don't screw everything up X-D Is it ok to admit you're nervous? I did.

Once we get into the room, I start feeling a little bit better. I stand at the podium, watch a surprising amount of people file in and take their seats. We hand out programs, and, I hear my name!

"Katie?" a woman asks. Huh? I look up, and we shake hands, after I give her a confused glance. Gosh, I think to myself, my memory must be going, I'm usually pretty good with faces...

And then she introduces herself as Kim! Kim! From "The Sphere!" Ahh hahh! One of my online poetry critiquing buddies. No wonder I didn't recognize her, we'd never met in person... I had to give her a hug. I'm a hugger. A big time hugger.

Once the panel gets underway, I start my little "talk" which was more like me introducing everyone, talking a little about Mouthfeel Press, and the little I know about the history of border literature. You see, I think us border ladies have a pretty important task ahead of us. So much border literature is masculinized... and there really aren't very many women who actually publish from these regions. Why? Well it's certainly not that we're not writing. But perhaps there isn't much of a markets? And that's what Mouthfeel Press' job is! To help broaden the conversation, give a woman's perspective and voice to the borderlands.

So that's the kind of stuff I talked about... and I read some of my latest poems that I think illustrate a woman's perspective of the borderlands. And my fellow authors read and discussed their poetics, too. Aye, I'll never get tired of listening to Laura Cesarco Eglin's accent in Spanish... hearing her read is an absolute pleasure! And she also brought up some really interesting issues about translating, since she's so talented knowing like a million languages X-D

I also really enjoyed hearing Maria Miranda Maloney's poems. You see, I mostly think of her as "publisher," but obviously, she's a poet too! She has some amazing experimental works. And of course! Elisa Garza's poems are lovely too. Hearing her read, I felt like I was back in El Valle, and just in time, too, because I was feeling a little homesick. She does a marvelous job capturing the cultural landscape.

Anyways... there were a lot of questions, too. People were asking about the markets in publishing for women's issues, translations, and language. The panel turned into a really fascinating discussion about our influences and work. Ah, it was wonderful. But! I glance down at the time. My plane's leaving soon! So I sneak out just in time.

But I couldn't leave without taking a picture of myself next to my sign! Here it is! :)



And then I had to scurry off... because, plane to catch and Bruno to get back to. I was so sad to leave AWP, but at the same time, it would, too, be nice to be home.

I've got a lot more to say about news, but for another day, I suppose! Life's been a good crazy lately.

But! I do have a reading tomorrow. As always, check out my side panel for more info. But I'm reading with Jan Seale again X-D Which I'm beyond excited about.

Off to practice reciting my poems!

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