AWP feels like it was years ago, even though it's only been a month. It was so great to see those of you I got to see, and curses foiled by time, again! re/ all the folks I missed.
I want to thank everyone who made it out to the reading on Wednesday night and all the folks who packed that little room for our panel on experimental forms of CNF. Since I've gotten a few messages about my handout, I decided to make it available here.
This year, I'm participating in AWP's Writer to Writer mentoring program, and I got to meet a few of my fellow mentors.
AWP 2017 was marked by a unity of purpose unlike other years I've attended. In the very last moments of the conference-proper (by which I mean, while I was sitting at the gate to fly out of town), a fellow writer said that this unity made this year more bearable than years past, since everyone was consumed with politics and resisting, rather than their own writing and writer life. I spent a lot of conversations reminding folks who work at universities or live in the enviable coastal climes that not everyone in this country is distraught. Many of my neighbors and coworkers are breathing (albeit inexplicably) audible and even joyous sighs of relief at the terrible, current State of our Union.
I heard from people who are cautiously optimistic about the sea change in many well-meaning but previously-blindered people. I know my own activism has ramped way up. I'm going to local political meetings. I'm donating to 6 groups every month. I am calling or faxing or mailing my representatives every week, if not every day, and I can see in the news that the pressure is working. So, I'll keep it up, because AWP reminded me that art and literature reflect back to us news of all the people, places, and things that are worth protecting, and that the communities that surround and support these great institutions are full of people and ideas worth fighting for. RESIST.