So, first, my luggage was lost. Then I saw Sofi T (which was a BALM), It’s still lost (the luggage), far as I can tell. My cute (new) shoes are in it—which is a whole ‘nother story—plus my makeup and clothes and brush. Then I rapped with Alison Hawthorne Deming as we tried to find our hotels via the amazing/overwhelming sky bridge maze. So, makeup trauma, but then, Queen Katie Oh! rescued me with her fabulous lipsticks, I ran into Daniel Nester and got a good pep talk, and I made it in time (despite delays, detours, and the longest tarmack taxi, ever) for my first ever AWP reading.
Things that happened at the reading: I got the crowd to sing some Violent Femmes lyrics, I talked to Benjamin Percy like a boss, I creeped up on J Robert Lennon, Melissa Febos, and Justin L. Daughtery. I got to hang (briefly) with Oliu and Tasha, Sal Pane, and (for a second) Mr. Rafferty. I bet no one who left early realized the drummer was an editor for Graywolf—but The Complexes were good. Huge thanks to Daniel Hoyt for inviting me. Whoa. Day one: I like you.
Michael Mlekoday was the best emcee, not least because he said my last name correctly!