One thing I know for sure: I do not like large groups. Socializing sucks my brain cells and replaces them with that noise that used to come on TVs after a station had gone off the air. But talking to one or two or even three people at the edge of the bar, our feet on a giant round ottoman/coffee table, I do enjoy (with thanks to Guillermo).

AWP is the only time I see some of these people–Adam Braver, for example, whom I met in 2006 at the New York State Summer Writers Workshop. And this year, Adam hosted a panel on Cross-Country Collaboration, featuring Tin House and the Normal School–two literary publications “with far-flung editors.” And these days, who isn’t far-flung?

AWP allows me to put real people in place of their Facebook photos. It enables face-to-face moments that add meaning to all these far-flung relationships. Sure, it’s crazy and rushed, but it’s real bodies that are crazy and rushed. It’s meeting new people. It’s meeting people I’ve communicated with by email for years. It’s seeing real lines in real faces and real tangles in real hair. Real coats and scarves and shoes. Feeling real handshakes and hugs. Looking into tired and sparkling eyes.

Some of my favorite non-AWP things about the trip: a visit to Ragdale with a camp friend of mine I hadn’t seen since I was 15 and who drove 30 miles into Chicago to pick me up [a post coming on this cool visit],  running along Lake Michigan, a visit to The Art Institute of Chicago.

Until March 6th, 2013 in Boston…


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