So what is it really like to go to one of these things. Being incredibly averse to traveling, I've never attended one. I already have an agent -- don't need to hobnob for one of those. Already have a publisher for my poetry book -- and does anyone want to see the proposal for ROCKET LESSONS, still available to an interested memoir publisher, as they say?
Why would I then go to a conference? To meet the other writers, of course. Since I can't this year (a) afford it or (b) get time off to go in the summer, I'm conferencing the cyber way -- by visiting the blogs of other poets and writers who go and report. Kelli Russell Agodon has a great blog series on AWP, which just concluded in Vancouver. I heard about it well in advance on a listserv, and have been envious since February of others who got to attend.
Another report on AWP suggests that it has gotten too big, too repetitious, and also, that Canadians are the politest people on earth. I like this report because (a) it makes me feel better about not having gone and (b) I agree, Canadians are the politest people on earth, which is probably secretly what Americans have against Canada.
My favorite report from AWP so far is that Molly Peacock giggles. Somehow, from reading her work, I can imagine this and like her poetry better for it.
I still have fantasies about making it to the Napa Valley Writers' Conference, which I imagine I could commute to, and make it home every night to sleep in my own bed. But seriously, why would I want to go? Really. When there's a poetry reading every night in the San Francisco Bay Area. And a stack of unread books next to my own bed, which I've already paid the mortgage company to occupy. If anyone can give me a compelling reason to plunk down $600 - $1500 to go to one of these shindigs, I'm willing to consider it.